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  • Kurt Fedewa on Behalf of Downtown Portland

FEATURED BUSINESS: Frosty Boy—The Peppermint Twist Cafe

Loralee Hilligan is the proud owner of Frosty Boy—The Peppermint Twist Cafe, an ice cream shop and restaurant in Portland.

Loralee worked in an ice cream shop as a teenage girl in Middleville, Michigan. As an adult, she also managed several dental offices in Grand Rapids. She used these experiences as a basis to start-up “The Peppermint Twist” in 1998. Pam Benner joined her as a manager of the cafe.

The Peppermint Twist Cafe features more than simply great ice cream. Its menu includes chicken strips, hamburgers, fries, onion rings, and chili dogs. Gluten-free cones for ice cream are available as is gluten-free bread for sandwiches and gluten-free pas-tries. The Peppermint Twist also has no-sugar-added butter-pecan ice cream as well as non-dairy chocolate ice cream. But the centerpieces of the shop are its high-quality Hudsonville ice cream, and, of course, its famous flurries.

“We specialize in flurries, and we are in a position to make virtually any flavor.” Said Loralee. “My favorite is called ‘Jim’s Twist-ed Cookie.’ It combines strawberry-vanilla ice cream with Oreo pieces, cherry dip, and Reece’s Peanut Butter Cup pieces. It’s fantastic!”

Pam agreed that the flurries are something special. “My favorite flurry is called ‘Heath Crunch.’” She said. “It contains vanilla ice cream, Heath candy, Nestle’s Crunch bar, and caramel. We add whipped cream on top, and it’s irresistible!”

Loralee and Pam think highly of Portland.

“I appreciate this city.” Said Loralee. “It’s a wonderful place. Visitors enjoy the river and the town itself. The City of Portland does a great job in maintaining our town as the great place it is.”

Loralee and Pam are excited about the approaching sesquicentennial celebration. They plan to keep the Peppermint Twist open throughout September to help people enjoy the festivities.

“We will be having old-fashioned afternoon teas at our shop. We will be dressed in nineteenth-century clothing. We feel that this will add positively to the celebration. It will be a fun time for all.”

This piece was originally posted in the May newsletter from Downtown Portland. You can find the complete newsletter at

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