When one of life’s celebrations calls for ice cream in Grand Blanc, chances are you’ll be heading out to Ziggy’s on Saginaw St. in the heart of Downtown. “This is the landmark place to go for ice cream in Grand Blanc,” laughs owner Pam Cassels. She’s owned the iconic ice cream stand for the last 13 years. While unsure of the its exact history, she knows that it was named Ziggy’s when it was owned by the Ziggler family in the 80s, and previously known as Big Top Twist and Lickety Split. And when Pam decided she wanted to pursue her entrepreneurial interests, she decided there would be nothing better than serving ice cream because it makes people happy.
Those who visit Ziggy’s on a regular basis know one thing: the line of customers will be long. “People come here knowing they have to wait in line forever!” Pam exclaims. But that doesn’t seem to matter, as everyone seems to know each other and enjoys spirited conversation while waiting for a cool treat on a summer day. Pam has about 18 employees who stay busy dishing up frosty sundaes and cones. Ziggy’s is proud to serve Ashby’s Ice Cream in 34 flavors, more than what they serve at Baskin Robbins, she boasts. And the menu is very simple at the local hangout, hand-dipped cones and chocolate or vanilla soft-serve ice cream. Flurries are popular at Ziggy’s, made with soft-serve ice cream mixed with your favorite candy or fruit.
On any given evening, you’ll see a group of kids from local schools or Little League and t-ball teams enjoying post-game treats, says Pam. Many families stop by after dinner for a sweet ending to the day. Ziggy’s banana splits are popular, as is the Turtle Sundae – vanilla ice cream covered with caramel, hot fudge, pecans and topped with whipped cream and a cherry. Pam credits her staff with keeping things running smoothly through the hectic ice cream season. Many of the employees are high school or college students and they usually stay on staff for four or five years. “I have the best team ever,” she boasts. “They work their tails off and are still smiling when the day is done.” Most of all, Pam appreciates her loyal patrons. “I really want to thank the Grand Blanc community for their support all these years,” she says. “And what I like best about my business is that all of my customers are happy. They come to the window with a smile because everybody loves ice cream!”
PHOTOS BY MIKE NADDEO