Glenn Deceuninck, right, says while the business is still struggling, the weather is starting to break and the outlook is positive. A GoFundMe for Miller Brothers Creamery has raised nearly $13,000.

Glenn Deceuninck, right, says while the business is still struggling, the weather is starting to break and the outlook is positive. A GoFundMe for Miller Brothers Creamery has raised nearly $13,000.

File photo by Deb Jacques


Mount Clemens creamery thankful for fundraising effort

By: Alex Szwarc | Mount Clemens - Clinton - Harrison Journal | Published May 12, 2021

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MOUNT CLEMENS — Over the next few weeks, Glenn Deceuninck expects to receive approval to expand the menu at his Mount Clemens business.

Last fall, Deceuninck, the owner of Miller Brothers Creamery, said the shop was on the brink of closing.

As previously reported, the COVID-19 pandemic presented a multitude of challenges for the business, located at 149 Dickinson St. in Mount Clemens.

A GoFundMe page launched in late October and, as of early May, had raised nearly $13,000. The goal was $10,000, and over 240 individuals have donated to the cause.

“We couldn’t have done it without them and never would have made it this far,” he said.

Now, Deceuninck said all of the money has been used up.

“The only reason we’re in business is because of it,” he said. “That was the only thing that really saved us. We’re still in the hole; even though we’re almost back to normal, it doesn’t seem like it is.”

While he said the business is still struggling, the weather is starting to break and the outlook is positive.

“My dream to have pizza and subs has been there since the day we bought the place,” Deceuninck said. “The pizza oven is up. We just need approval from the health department.”

Pending approval from the Macomb County Health Department, the plan is to also sell popcorn, nachos, hot dogs and soft pretzels.

When Irene Slachtowicz owned the shop for over 60 years, Deceuninck said she was grandfathered in under the state health department because she sold more groceries than ice cream.

Slachtowicz sold it to the Deceuninck’s almost three years ago.

“We sell more ice cream than groceries, so we had to go under the Macomb County Health Department,” he said. “The rules are a lot more stringent. We had to upgrade everything to today’s codes.”

That included remodeling most of the back room to make it a functioning kitchen.

“The funding was not always there to do that,” he said. “We put in a new walk-in freezer, which we financed, and at that point, those payments weren’t due for 12 months.”

Shortly after the pandemic began, the payments became due.

Deceuninck called the GoFundMe campaign a lifesaver and that money raised went right back into the business.

“When it launched, we were so far behind in everything and it caught us up on our bills,” he said.

In 2020, he received shutoff notices for electric, gas and water and indicated Miller’s is now still behind a little bit on city taxes.

“We couldn’t afford employees over the winter, so my wife worked it,” Deceuninck said. “I’m working a second job to make ends meet so we don’t lose our house.”  

Deceuninck’s aunt Pamela Chowan said her nephew had had many ups and downs throughout his life, but he has never given up.

“He always came up on top,” she said. “Glenn is a big man, but his heart is bigger than his body. Of course he’s not perfect, but neither are any of us. A good man with good intentions for sure.”

Deceuninck admits it would’ve been easy to sell the business when the pandemic began but realizes that Miller’s is a historic Mount Clemens business.

In 1923, Miller Brothers Creamery Company bought out a dairy farm on Elizabeth Road, operating from that location until a new cement block building opened on Euclid Avenue in Mount Clemens. By 1957, the operation grew to 24 delivery routes, including wholesale stops for hotels, restaurants, schools and Selfridge Air National Guard Base.

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