HUDSONVILLE, Mich. — There is no shortage of incredible apple orchards in West Michigan. But with so many options, how do you choose where to indulge? We — 13 ON YOUR SIDE digital producers Riley and Amy — have set out to find the tastiest spots in the area and are documenting our journey with a new series called 13 Eats.
13 Eats is all about highlighting the best, locally-owned eateries in the Grand Rapids area. And for the month of October, we’re hunting for the best apple orchard donut.
So far on our journey, we have checked out Moelker Orchards & Farm Market, Robinette's Apple Haus & Winery, Schwallier’s Country Basket and Post Family Farm. Now, we’re exploring the oh-so-quaint Grandview Orchard. For all those who love Michigan autumn, you’re in for a treat.
►Learn more about the farm here.
Down a long, gravel drive and tucked away in the fields of Hudsonville lies Grandview Orchard, a husband-and-wife owned-and-operated farm with simplicity at its roots. As we turned into the driveway, we were met with an open, sun-soaked entrance to the little slice of downhome paradise.
When the gravel came to an end, we parked at the front of a small white barn and a trailer marked with the words, “Apple Lady Donuts.” The storefront and operation feels rather small, especially since it’s surrounded by fields and rows of apple trees. But its quality products and cozy energy sure do pack a big punch.
Grandview Orchard: The Vibe
After taking a walk along the grounds, we made our way through the painted doors of the white barn-turned market. The little shop has all the fall feels and is complete with small pumpkins, apple cider, cute decorations and SO. MANY. APPLES. They glistened in their bags and looked absolutely divine.
Just out the door and along the front side of the barn sits the Apple Lady’s Donut trailer, where the true donut-magic happens. Not only are the sweet treats sold there, but they’re actually made there, too. The couple who runs and owns the place knows their tasks to a tee. While the wife makes the donuts and runs the bakery and market, the husband is out and about tending to all things farm and apple. The passion for their product and business comes through in the bright environment and the delicious treats they serve.
Grandview Orchard: The Land
RELATED: 13 Eats: Donut Hunt at Robinette's
The Most Important Part… The Donuts
Each crunching step up the gravel driveway is one step closer to the intoxicating scent of fried dough that fills the entire market-area of Grandview Orchards. A peek through the screen window of the white trailer parked out front shows racks and racks of freshly-made, fall-flavored donuts.
The options include plain, cinnamon sugar and salted caramel glazed. The prices are immaculate, with $1 per donut, $5.50 for a half dozen and $10 for a dozen.
Grandview Orchard: The Donuts
The donuts are small but mighty, with the taste of homemade, tried-and-true flavors in each bite. We first tested the cinnamon sugar. The crunchy coating was only present around the top of the donut, which was different from the standard, where the coating usually wraps around the whole sweet treat. To be honest, we missed the messy ordeal of wiping greasy, cinnamon sugar-coated hands on our napkins after eating, but the fried dough and cinnamon flavors still popped, so we were happy with the experience all-in-all.
The true winner of Grandview Orchards, though, is the glazed salted caramel. That’s the donut that would make us return time and time again. The crunchy glaze pairs perfectly with the soft dough, which has little delicious clumps of cinnamon inside. Its most prominent flavor, though, is maple. The coating tastes like the sweetest, most glorious maple syrup there is, with the dough like a decadent pancake. Even if it would be the perfect breakfast dessert, we would eat this donut for every meal.
Grandview Orchard is the perfect destination for a quick fall detour. The downhome feel and gorgeous scenery make it a definite must-stop on a busy day, at least to grab some glazed donuts and a jug of apple cider.
When we pulled up to the little operation, we saw a small group of teenage girls taking pictures in front of the marketplace and trailer before grabbing some donuts. We think that adorable experience explains Grandview Orchards so aptly — it is a picture-perfect location made for gathering with friends and family on a fall afternoon.
Not to mention, the farm is obviously a testament to the hard work and dedication of the people behind it. The pride in their work is evident in every apple, pumpkin, gallon of cider and donut sold right on their property.
We’ve decided Grandview Orchard is a dream come true for all fall lovers, donut enthusiasts and even those looking for the cutest Instagram picture.
► Grandview Orchard is located at 1118 Riley St, Hudsonville, MI 49426
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