Homemade sherbet, gourmet sundaes and whipped cream-topped milkshakes featured at Barnside Creamery

Jun 11, 2024 | Business | 1 comment

Lorne, left, and Tonia Tice have turned Barnside Creamery into a customer favorite and a family tradition.


Megan Rife fills a cup with soft serve at Barnside Creamery. The business is popular for its homemade sherbet, gourmet sundaes and unique milkshakes.

Before opening Barnside Creamery in 2009, Tonia and Lorne Tice stripped the building down to the bare walls and discovered barn siding behind the drywall. Tying the building’s name to its history was a natural choice, especially considering the long history of the land the building sits on.

“The land has always been in the family,” Tonia said. “My great-grandfather owned the property, then my grandfather, and then my mom. When my family offered it to us, we decided to have a business here for our daughters, who were teens at the time. They still work here.”

Since then, Barnside Creamery has gained a reputation as one of Northwest Ohio’s best ice cream shops. The business doesn’t offer indoor seating, but the beautiful rural views would keep everyone outside anyway. Customers can eat their sandwiches and ice cream at picnic tables while they watch eagles, herons and other birds fly overhead.

Barnside is just a few miles from Magee Marsh, which hosts the annual Biggest Week in American Birding that draws thousands of people to Ottawa County for the annual spring migration. Black Swamp Bird Observatory Executive Director Kimberly Kaufman created the birding event in 2009, the same year that Barnside Creamery opened.

“It’s been fun to watch how much they’ve grown and how much we’ve grown. We’ve grown together,” Tonia said. “We open every year in spring just in time for the birders. We’re farmers, and we never knew about the spring migration until Kim came around. Now we watch for the south wind like all the birders do.”

Although many birders have made a trip to Barnside an annual tradition, the business is busy all summer long because its reputation for exceptional ice cream brings customers back again and again.

Brennan O’Neill prepares to deliver ice cream to a drive-through customer at Barnside.

“It was our goal to have a quality product that everyone could afford,” Tonia said. “We worked at it, and this is what we came up with.”

The Tices offer daily lunch specials and utilize local products as much as possible.

“We use Toft’s ice cream, Roots chicken and Great Lakes Chips, and our brats and hot dogs come from Tank’s Meats in Elmore,” Tonia said.

The sherbet is made inhouse with a secret recipe that is a customer favorite.

“My husband and I developed the recipe for that,” Tonia said. “We change the flavor around the holidays. We have red raspberry now, and we’ll change it to blue raspberry around the Fourth of July. Our most popular flavor is red raspberry. We sell a lot of that.”

Barnside’s gourmet sundaes are popular, especially its Turtle Sundae and Buckeye Sundae.

“We’re known for our good milkshakes,” Tonia said. “My husband got that recipe down because he loves milkshakes. That’s why they come with whipped cream – because of him.”

Although the Tice’s daughters are grown, they still help out at Barnside. Tonia said a family member is always onsite when it is open.

“We make an exchange. My daughters work here, and I watch the grandkids and have them all spoiled,” Tonia said.

Although Barnside Creamery was supposed to be a temporary project to help their daughters learn character traits like hard work and dependability, it has grown into a truly family business.

“We really love it. We never thought it would grow like this, but now it’s definitely a family tradition,” Tonia said.

Barnside Creamery is located at 10980 W. State Route 2 in Oak Harbor. It is open 11 a.m. to 9 p.m., seven days a week. For more information, visit the Barnside Creamery Facebook page.

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1 Comment

  1. Scott Gresser

    May continued success keep coming your way.


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July 2024

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