Apple Knockers

Chocolate shake and BLTdog

By Linda Hoard

Apple Knockers, 115 W. Prairie St., an ice cream parlor opened by Paula Hochstetler and her daughters Angela Palomaki and Rita Sertic in 2009, was named one of the top ice cream parlors in Michigan in 2012, coming in third in’s search for the best ice cream parlor.

The name, Apple Knockers, comes from a term used in the Upper Peninsula to refer to people who live in the Lower Peninsula. It’s also a term used to describe country bumpkins. So when trying to find a cute name for the restaurant Paula said, “That’s it!”  We’re in a rural, fruit growing area.” So the name stuck.

Apple Knockers serves Plainwell Ice Cream. In addition to shakes, malts, sundaes and cones in all flavors, ice cream cakes are now available in many varieties.

But ice cream treats are not the only sweets on the menu. Grandma Fannie Mae worked as a baker at the Essenhaus Restaurant in Middlebury, IN, for many years and her recipes, including peanut butter pie, are served at Apple Knockers.

Apple Knockers also serves Nathan’s all-beef hot dogs, and pictured is the new BLT dog with bacon, lettuce, tomato and their special dipping sauce.

Regular and white chicken chili and steaming hot corn casserole are served when the weather is cold. Other menu items include macaroni and cheese, burgers, wraps and sandwiches. The kid’s meals include a token so they can go back and get ice cream when they’re done eating.

Pasties are a homemade menu item at Apple Knockers. The Marquette-style recipe was handed down from Grandma Mante who was a cook in a logging camp. Apparently pasties in the U.P. are made differently in each location, so the pasties made in Marquette are much different than those made by the Mackinac bridge.

Apple Knockers is open Monday through Saturday from 11 a.m. to 9 p.m. and Sunday from noon to 8 p.m. They may be extending their hours as the summer heats up.

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