In 1978, Art and Judy Gaylord bought the building that formerly housed Newman’s Ice Cream. At the time, their children were in elementary school. Their son David thought they were crazy. He thought he was going to have to spend hours hand churning ice cream like they did at home. Their daughter Laura just envisioned all the ice cream she would get to eat!
Art learned the craft of making ice cream at the Carousel on West Main Street in Kalamazoo starting at the age of 14 and working until he went to Western Michigan University after high school. He knew he wanted to start his own business and when the opportunity presented itself in 1978, Art and Judy took the plunge.
They spruced up the building and made ice cream based on the knowledge Art had learned while in high school. And on May 23, 1978, Plainwell Ice Cream was opened. Today, Art, Judy, David and Laura are still all involved in the business. The ice cream is still made in the back of the store multiple days a week. The third generation is involved in carrying on the tradition and learning all aspects of being involved in a family business.
It’s a rare day that you don’t find one of the family in the store! Art, Judy David and Laura believe that one of the major components of being in business for so many years is the wonderful employees they have been fortunate to employ. With them, Plainwell Ice Cream has continued to grow and thrive.