With new owners, broaster chicken among new menu items at Wimpy’s
Dan Sanderson | Staff Writer
A family that established ties to Grayling over two decades ago purchased an iconic ice cream shop this year and is introducing a new flair for chicken to the community.
Jill and Roger Lewis, along with their son, Christopher, purchased Wimpy’s, located at 6415 M-72 West, in January.
The main menu change for Wimpy’s is the addition of genuine broaster chicken, which can be ordered as takeout or enjoyed at Wimpy’s.
“It’s something a little bit different,” Jill said. “Because it’s cooked in a pressure cooker, it seals in the juices of the chicken and the skin is really crispy.”
Before opening for the season, upgrades were made on the interior of the business.
“We had to do some remodeling on the inside in order to put a pressure cooker in, so we could cook the chicken,” Jill said.
Meals with four, eight, 12 and 16 pieces of chicken are available, along with nuggets, tenders, and chicken sandwiches.
Burgers and hot dogs are still available at Wimpy’s along with a variety of other new items, cones, sundaes and ice cream dishes, which were added to the menu.
The Lewis family started scouting out Wimpy’s last year to determine patterns for when the business was busy and when it was not.
They purchased the business from Tammy Cormier and her husband, Currie, who operated it from 2009 to 2016.
The Lewis family has operated six other ice cream businesses over the last 40 years, including locations in Mackinaw City and in the Upper Peninsula.
“We figured it was better for us to buy an existing business than to start a new business venture,” Jill said.
The family started coming to the Grayling area in 1996 after purchasing a home and came up on weekend from Troy. Unclear about retirement plans, the family sold their home in the community in 2010. Jill, who retired from teaching in 2016, said the family decided to reestablish their roots in Grayling.
“We like the community, we like the location of Grayling, and we decided we wanted to stay and live in Grayling,” Jill said.
Christopher is a partner in the business. He also owns his own freelance writing company, Innovative Written Solutions, and balances his business time with helping out at Wimpy’s.
Wimpy’s currently has five employees, which are all high school students.
“We have excellent employees,” Jill said. “They work really hard, they’re good kids, and they have a good work ethic.”
Wimpy’s offers discounts on purchases for the military, first responders, and local sports teams.
The Lewis family is also adamant about supporting Grayling-area businesses.
“We really believe that small businesses should support each other, and business owners should support each other and that will help the community grow in that respect,” Jill said.
Wimpy’s is open from 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Saturday, and from noon to 10 p.m. on Sunday.
Call ahead orders are encouraged since it takes 18 minutes to cook the chicken. The phone number for Wimpy’s is (989) 344-1918.