New Chain Of Lakes Ice Cream Parlor To Open Friday

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Do you like ice cream? If you do, you’re in luck, because a new ice cream venue is opening up shop in between Portage Lake and the Huron River, this Friday. NautiMi on the River is going to officially open on April 23, to be fully up and running as summer approaches.

The front entrance to NautiMi on the River.

“The water is my happy place and that is where I like to be. We have a great resource out here with a Chain of Lakes. Not everybody has access to that,” So providing a place where people can get onto the water is the whole point of the business, Co-Owner Melisa Kunnert told the Sun Times News, as she was busily preparing for the grand opening on Friday. “So having resources to get people on the waters is super important to me; and teaching people safely.”

In addition to selling ice cream, the new establishment will also a rental venue for kayaks and paddle boards. They are also planning on hosting yoga sessions on paddle boards this summer.

Melisa Kunnert, standing by her ice cream setup.

The spacious interior of the mid-century modern building can be accessed either from the Huron River or McGregor Road. If you come in through the latter entrance, the first thing you will see is an ice cream display with coffee making facilities behind it. 

The new shop will be located on the south side of the Chain of Lakes, between Portage and Base Line Lakes. Going east out the southern exit from Portage Lake by the DNR boat launch, you can find the store by turning left by the dam and continuing upriver about fifteen houses as the river runs along McGregor Road. Just before you reach the back of the Portage Lake Trading Post, you’ll find NautiMi’s
four boat docking spaces along the river, where boaters from across the Chain of Lakes area can moor to run in for one of 17 flavors of ice cream.

Four docking spaces will be available for anyone stopping by to get ice cream. The other spaces will be leased out on a season-long basis.

Until the pandemic ends, they are planning to maintain social distancing laws and limit how many people are allowed inside the building at any given time.

When asked, employee Anna Teachwortch said that she was excited about starting this new business because “I like being on the water. Having another business on the water is good.”

But NautiMi doesn’t just have the words “dry goods and ice creamery” in its logo for nothing. Inside the single-story building you can also find wide assortment of clothing and other keepsakes, which Rosein says will be sourced from Michigan-based companies as much as possible. 

“I think it’s a great niche ... that’ll be a really great fit for families,” Dexter Township Supervisor Dianne Ratkovich said.

The menu for NautiMi on the River.

NautiMi says that they are hoping to be a place both for locals and weekend vacationers to frequent. The new company has three full time employees, and they are anticipating providing a dozen part time jobs.

The river-side of the back features a big glass garage door, which will be open, weather permitting, to a covered patio. Outdoor dining out the back will eventually be encouraged with a series of picnic tables, and in the future, there is a possibility of holding outdoor acoustic concerts, and food trucks.

NautiMi on the River from the river.

Correction: A previous version of this article used a incorrect name and stated the wrong number of docking spaces available. 

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