Ice cream has been around and enjoyed for centuries, however the soft-serve concept wasn’t developed until 1938 by Iowa-born John Fremont McCullough and his son Alex. Together they convinced a buddy, Sherb Noble, to offer the innovative product in his soft ice cream 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 2 hours. (Sounds like it was a hit.) Knowing they were onto something big, Noble as well as the McCulloughs went on to open the initial Dairy Queen near me a couple of 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. Even though this original site has not been operational since the 1950s, the building still stands as being a designated landmark, hearkening back to simpler times for Boomers who go by.

For decades, Dairy Queens were and therefore are a fixture of social interaction in small towns from the Midwest and South and also by the 70s, checking up on the times (and the competition), most DQs added fast food, including sausages, hamburgers and fries, referring to their newest menu items as “Brazier.” Although several shops are merely open during the summer time, most stay open year-round. In the end, why consume frozen treats just seasonally until you live in North Dakota? The biggest store is situated in Bloomington, IL, home of the state university, Busiest honors go to Prince Edward Island, Canada (go figure). In 2014, Dairy Queen listed over 6,400 stores in more than 25 countries (75% in which will be in the U.S.). For many years, the existing adage boasted every Texas town experienced a DQ. While will no longer literally true as small-town America dwindles, the largest concentration is still within the Lone Star State.

All DQs now provide you with the Orange Julius drink, a brand name which they acquired in 1987, and many shops may be found in food courts and departmental stores nationwide. DQ actually has two official fan clubs: Blizzard and Orange Julius. Blizzard fans, over 4 million strong, place their choices seriously, with a variety of ingredients and mix-ins available. DQ also offers specialty ice cream cakes, with their traditional collection of soft-serve treats, cone dippings and toppings.

Across the country, many single-unit mom and pop stands took notice and opened up on Memorial Day catering to the neighborhood children, with walk-up stands, often calling themselves “frozen custard.” Nobody cared what the name was, Dairy Queen restaurant meant vanilla and chocolate creamy cones and cups, perhaps a few picnic tables to linger at, plus 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, using a dime or even a quarter stashed within their pocket. Rarely did these stands offer more than both basic flavors, however, if one was lucky, there can be a strawberry flavor too (oh, boy). (Author’s note: her local soft-serve stand featured green mint, that was within the top, particularly with hot fudge.)

Minor competitors like Tastee-Freez and Fosters Freeze both began in California inside the 1950s and have less than 50 locations each but carry on and thrive having a cadre of loyal customers.

So that is up for a few soft-serve? Any time of year it hits the spot. In the event you don’t have shops close to you, maybe a frozen yogurt, nevertheless it won’t function as the same. Look at your local shopping mall and you simply might luck out. And don’t worry: mom was wrong, it won’t spoil your dinner.

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