I sat down with Karen Van Dam (owner of Captain Sundae) to chat about today’s category, ice cream shops. Karen purchased Captain Sundae in 1999. But she first began working at Captain Sundae as a teenager growing up in Holland.
Captain Sundae specializes in offering their customers a vast variety of one of a kind sundaes. There are about forty-seven different kinds for you to try. The Tommy Turtle Sundae, for example. This sundae was invented by the original owner, Lee Mannes. It consists of vanilla ice cream, hot chocolate fudge, caramel, butter pecan, and is finally topped off with whipped cream and a cherry. Fun fact: when George W. Bush was in Holland, he visited Captain Sundae and sampled the Tommy Turtle.
Captain Sundae offers options for soft-serve fans as well as hard-serve. There are about twenty-five hard-serve ice cream flavors to choose from (made by Hudsonville Ice Cream and Ashby’s Ice Cream). However, all of the sundaes are made with soft-serve ice cream. There are also “candy and nut toppings available [alongside] fresh fruit” options.
Every year (this year in May) there is a contest held in order to find new sundaes for the menu. Any person can enter an idea along with a name for their sundae creation. The top three or four ideas are put on a temporary menu; then, there is a vote for the best new sundae. This year, the new dish on the menu is the Peanut Butter Shipwreck. It consists of chocolate ice cream, hot chocolate fudge, peanut butter sauce, Reese’s Pieces, and Peanut Butter Cups. When Mitt Romney was speaking in Holland this summer, this was his pick.
According to Karen, the best part about Captain Sundae is the experience. Captain Sundae offers “a fun [nautical] setting, unique sundaes, and top quality ingredients (no off brands).” Captain Sundae also caters to dietary needs including for nondairy, no sugar, or nut allergies. “Captain Sundae caters to everyone.”The address listed below is the original ice cream store (perfect for stopping at on the way home from the Holland State Park beach!), but there are also two other locations you can visit (south side location in Holland and a location in Zeeland).
365 Douglas Avenue, Holland MI, 49423
11 am – 11 pm, Monday through Saturday.
1 pm – 11 pm, Sunday.