Saint Joe iconic eatery reopens on Mother's Day

On this Mother’s Day, an iconic eatery in Saint Joe, MI reopened with a new owner.

“It’s always been ice cream on this corner and we want to bring back that neighborhood charm,” Greg Rood said.

Rood is the new owner of the Dairy Korner, a staple in Saint Joe since 1956.

Mother’s Day marked opening day for the new and improved business.

“When we saw that they had a new menu and lots of changes and upgrades, we thought, let’s check it out!” Amy Peterson, who grabbed lunch at the Dairy Korner with her family, said.

The old school ice cream and burger joint has been on Lakeview Avenue in Saint Joe for decades, but Rood made significant changes after buying the business last October.

“We tore up the concrete and put in a brand new concrete patio with bistro dining,” Rood said. “We shredded the exterior of the building and brought new exterior like it was, with red and white stripes, and then the interior, we took the whole inside, out, raised the ceilings back, brought in chandeliers, new countertops; and some of our students actually did all the tile work in the store.”

Now 12 student employees work under Rood; he’s a retired teacher whose love for his job motivated him to buy the Dairy Korner.

“I missed the students,” Rood said. “I found out that when you work with high school and college students you get energy from ‘em.”

Business began booming Sunday afternoon, as family’s gathered for a Mother’s Day treat.

“Thought this would be a nice Mother’s Day lunch,” Dave Peterson, whose family was eating lunch at the eatery, said.

And moms were certainly the focus on Sunday.

“We’re giving away free Mother’s Day sundaes today with special, homemade brownies,” Rood said.

But most importantly is what the Dairy Korner offers the community.

“It brings families together and [we] can spend time and enjoy good food,” Megan Conard, who was eating with her family, said.

And on Sunday, it helped bring families together for Mother’s Day.

“It’s exciting!” Amy Peterson said. “These guys lucked out [looking at her husband and sons]; they didn’t have to cook.”

Dozens of families stopped by the eatery Sunday for ice cream, custard and sliders – and moms were offered free sundaes.

The Dairy Korner is open until Halloween, seven days a week from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m.

Rood said students will perform live music every Thursday and a block party will wrap the season up on Halloween day. 

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