Grand Haven ice cream shop serves up country's best scoops

Sweet Temptations has some of the best ice cream in the country — and now it has the blue ribbons to prove it.

The Grand Haven-based creamery attended the North American Ice Cream Association’s annual convention in Fort Worth, Texas, recently and came home with several awards, including two blue ribbons — the highest honor the association bestows — for its Vanilla Bean ice cream and for its Dark Decadence ice cream, as well as a red ribbon for their chocolate ice cream.
Sweet Temptations ice cream took home two blue ribbons from the annual North American Ice Cream Association’s annual convention.
“We usually don’t sell a lot of ice cream this time of year,” owner Kelly Larson says. However, news travels fast, and she added, “We’ve got a lot of demand from people who want to try it and love it. … We’ve had people coming in from all over who had never heard of us.”

Larson’s family has been in business for decades, but they began making their own ice cream in 1999. The family has four locations in Grand Haven and Spring Lake, including Sweet Temptations, Temptations, Skoops, and the Front Porch.

The NAICA’s annual ice cream clinic offers members who manufacture their own ice cream the opportunity to have their vanilla, chocolate, and strawberry products tested in accordance with Food and Drug Administration standards and then scored for quality by Cornell University’s renowned Dairy Extension team. Each flavor is tested in six qualities such as flavor, texture, and color.

Sweet Temptations was one of a handful of creameries to win a blue ribbon.

One of Sweet Temptations’ employees, Anna Corgan, was also recognized with a $2,500 scholarship. Awards are based on a personal statement, academic achievement, and financial need.

Sweet Temptations ice cream for sale by the scoop in a freezer case.
Larson was recently elected president of the association and spoke at several seminars, including a first timer’s boot camp, growing your sales, how to make waffle cones, and rapid fire business hacks.

“It’s a lot of people like me. It’s a lot of mom and pop stores,” Larson says.

Larson’s parents, Diane and Ray Murray, are still actively involved with the business.

Now that Sweet Temptations has won blue ribbons for their vanilla and dark chocolate flavors, Larson says she is determined to perfect “the science behind the ice cream” for her other flavors and bring home more blue ribbons.

Read more articles by Andrea Goodell.