Jersey Junction is an iconic ice cream parlor, located at 652 Croswell Avenue SE, in ‘Gaslight Village’ East Grand Rapids, Michigan. It was founded in October of 1963 by Doris ‘Chris’ Van Allsburg. She originally opened the shop as a storefront for the East End Creamery, which was owned by her husband and his brothers. Today, Jersey Junction is owned by Elias Olivarez and features West Michigan made Hudsonville ice cream.
From the outside, Jersey Junction resembles a little red train depot. Located at the front of the building is a deck for visitors to relax and enjoy their favorite ice cream; complete with the last remaining and functional gaslight from “Gaslight Village”.
Upon entering Jersey Junction, visitors are greeted by a wall of candy, reminiscent of an old fashioned candy shop, a favorite among the children waiting for their ice cream. An old fashioned school bench also lines the wall, where visitors can sit. The ice cream parlor is covered in history, displaying Jersey Junction memorabilia as well as early photographs of Ramona Park, Gaslight Village, and more. Encircling the parlor near the ceiling is a model of the Polar Express, the train from the children’s book authored and illustrated by Doris’s son Chris Van Allsburg, and later made into a Christmas movie starring Tom Hanks. The dining room contains an exact replica of Jersey Junction complete with working lights and a train.
The display also explains how the name Jersey Junction came about. The word “Jersey” is representative of Jersey cows which are said to produce the best milk and therefore the best ice cream. The word “Junction” means to come together. Today, Jersey Junction remains a favorite place for families and friends to come together and enjoy delicious ice cream.
Join us in congratulating Jersey Junction on their 50th anniversary and on 50 deliciously successful years!