Holland Bowl Mill – Michigan Vacation

Holland Bowl Mill turned out to be another favorite and souvenir stop. We all bought our favorite bowl, OK my mother in law and I may have each bought more than one!

When we walked into the store, we were immediately greeted. This business has been in the family since 1926 when it started out making wooden shoes. We were invited to watch a short video of a segment that was featured on TV. We were then invited to take a factory tour.

All of the bowls are made completely by hand along with other unique items.

Holland Bowl Mill is one of the last production bowl mills in America, all handmade solid hardwood bowls and utensils of the highest quality.

We think the large bowl with the gems is a fruit bowl, allowing air to flow under the fruit.

They had beautiful cutting and charcuterie boards.

There were many gift items as well.

This started our tour.

All of their bowls are made from hardwood logs of beech, maple, cherry, walnut or red oaks.

All of the wood is harvested from forests throughout Michigan and the Midwest.

The company has zero waste even selling the cut out bowl wood, called skulls, as planters.

Leftover wood scraps and sawdust are used to make composite wood products and for horse bedding. Check out the size of the chainsaw!

Each skilled artisans create only one part of each product.

We watched as this man made three bowls from one chunk of wood.

Our tour guide showed us the defect in the bottom of the largest bowl of three, making the price cheaper.

These are the inside of the three bowls we watch him make. In the back you can see the chunk of wood they were cut from. The small round circle of wood in the center of each bowl will be sanded flat by another worker, after they are steamed and dried.

Carved bowls are steamed here for about four hours to draw out the sap and allow the moisture to penetrate the woods pores so the bowls won’t crack and split.

The wood bowls dry for one month after they are steamed.

Once they are dried they are sanded. Imperfections are sanded out and the bowl gets a flat bottom.

They store extra items for sale in the factory in addition to the showroom. Each item is available for free engraving, I had both of mine engraved.

The last process of each bowl is to rub this bee’s wax mixed with mineral oil all over the bowl. The bowls are ready to fill with salads, fruits or even popcorn when you take them home.

The bowls can be hand washed with soap and water, rinsed and dried immediately.

They suggest to maintain the bowl, rub it with their product, bee oil or mineral oil to protect the wood against drying, splitting or cracking.

If you ever go to Holland Michigan, make sure you make this a stop, we loved it!

I was not compensated for this post.



  1. What a treat—I felt like I was on the tour with you, Diane. Great pix, too. Thanks for sharing with your readers.

  2. Isn’t it amazing how a piece of wood can be created into such beautiful items! I definitely won’t be able to walk out there with just one item 😉. Thanks for the tour of the factory Diane, I really enjoyed it!

    • It sure is but what I thought was the most fascinating was how they took one hunk of wood and cut 3 bowls from it. You’re welcome and I’m glad you enjoyed it.

  3. We have a large cheery wood salad bowl and some good wood tools for kitchen . Love the tactile feel of old smooth varnished by time alone

  4. This looked like such a fun outing and tour, Diane. I’m still trying to wake up and haven’t had coffee yet – it’s 6:00 am here – and the top photo looked like giant loaves of bread. 😆 I love the fruit bowl. Very unique. The craftsmanship and care put into each bowl is wonderful!

    • Hahahaha At least the bread image got your attention Ab! I actually wanted that fruit bowl but I have one I use already from a local wood bowl artist from here. However, his bowls are strips of wood bent and glued together, unlike the one in Holland. Thank you!

    • I agree, my husband bought a bowl that they took electricity and put it on the bowl. The current burnt electrical marks into the bowl that was just gorgeous.

  5. Thanks so much for sharing this. It’s wonderful to see quality products being made proudly by hand.

  6. What an interesting tour. Thanks for sharing. My Mom had a big wooden salad bowl with small salad bowls to go with it. Lovely stuff. Did you buy anything else other than bowls? That town has several tourist attractions.

    • Yes I bought a large concave wood piece that I put on my dining room table as a centerpiece. I still need to shop for what to put in it. The town has a lot of outdoor activities like hiking, boating, biking etc. however my 94 year old mother in law couldn’t do any of that. Thank you Katelon.

  7. Wow! I did not see this on our trip to Holland, Michigan. I am so impressed and so happy that such a place still exists in our country. New Hampshire had a much smaller place that made homemade baskets but after many, many years, the family called it quits. Such a shame.

  8. We will add this stop to our list. The fact that the bowls can be engraved made me think that these could be some nice Christmas gifts! Thanks for your post. P.S. I also love how nothing is wasted!

  9. I actually live very close to Holland and I drive past their building often although I have never known any of this. It’s great information and I’ll have to check it out soon.

    • It is kind of tucked in there, I can see how you missed it. Let me know what you think of the store. It isn’t cheap but everything is delicious. If you get chance, go on line and read about their history. They actual created this business to help the cherry growers in Michigan.

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