Frozen treats has been around and enjoyed for hundreds of years, however the soft-serve concept wasn’t developed until 1938 by Iowa-born John Fremont McCullough and his son Alex. Together they convinced a friend, Sherb Noble, to offer the innovative product in his frozen treats store in Kankakee, Illinois, a small town south of Chicago. On the first day of sales, to everyone’s surprise, Noble dished out greater than 1,600 servings of the new dessert within two hours. (Sounds like it was a hit.) Knowing they were onto something big, Noble and the McCulloughs went on to open the very first Dairy Queen two years later in Joliet, Illinois, placing Mr. Noble at the helm (who better) which opened for business on June 22, perfect timing for the long, hot summer. Although this original site has not been in operation since the 1950s, the building still stands as being a designated landmark, hearkening back to simpler times for Boomers who go by.
For many years, Dairy Queens were and therefore are a fixture of self confidence in small towns in the Midwest and South and also by the 70s, checking up on the days (and the competition), most DQs added fast food, including hot dogs, hamburgers and fries, talking about their newest menu items as “Brazier.” Although a few shops are merely open during the summer time, most stay open year-round. All things considered, why consume frozen treats just seasonally unless you reside in North Dakota? The biggest store is located in Bloomington, IL, home of any state university, Busiest honors head to Prince Edward Island, Canada (go figure). In 2014, Dairy Queen listed over 6,400 stores in than 25 countries (75% of which have been in the U.S.). For decades, the existing adage boasted every Texas town experienced a DQ. While no more literally true as small-town America dwindles, the biggest concentration continues to be in the Lone Star State.
All DQs now provide the Orange Julius drink, a brand that they can acquired in 1987, and many shops may be found in food courts and shopping malls nationwide. DQ actually has two official fan clubs: Blizzard and Orange Julius. Blizzard fans, over 4 million strong, place their choices seriously, with a number of ingredients and mix-ins available. DQ also provides specialty ice cream cakes, together with their traditional choice of soft-serve treats, cone dippings and toppings.
Throughout the country, many single-unit mom and pop stands took notice and opened on Memorial Day catering to the neighborhood children, with walk-up stands, often calling themselves “frozen custard.” Nobody cared exactly what the name was, Dairy Queen catering menu meant vanilla and chocolate creamy cones and cups, perhaps a few picnic tables to linger at, as well as an after-dinner treat within walking distance of home. Local kids looked toward their short but sweet hours, which sadly closed after Labor Day. Simple names like Al’s, Bert’s or Tastee Treat started yfewqe pop up on busy corners and youngsters rode their bikes eagerly anticipating what awaited them, having a dime or a quarter stashed in their pocket. Rarely did these stands offer more than the 2 basic flavors, but when one was lucky, there can be a strawberry flavor also (oh, boy). (Author’s note: her local soft-serve stand featured green mint, which was within the top, especially with hot fudge.)
Minor competitors like Tastee-Freez and Fosters Freeze both began in California within the 1950s and possess lower than 50 locations each but continue to thrive with a cadre of loyal customers.
So who is up for some soft-serve? Any season it hits the spot. Should you don’t have any shops close to you, perhaps a frozen yogurt, nevertheless it won’t become the same. Examine your local shopping mall and you just might luck out. And don’t worry: mom was wrong, it won’t spoil your dinner.