The United States was coming out of the Depression in 1938. Business began to flourish and prosper again and families had more money for leisure time and recreation. J. F. McCullough, owner of the Homemade Ice Cream Company in Illinois, experimented in the soft serve ice cream at the right time. He thought that ice cream tasted better when it was served fresh and not frozen.
He first tested his idea on August 4, 1938 in an ice cream shop owned by one of his best customers, Sherb Noble. They offered an all you can eat ice cream festivity for 10 cents. The response they had was overwhelming and had lines down the street. They found a reliable freezer to keep the soft serve ice cream at a temperature of 23 degrees Fahrenheit with Harry Oltz.
McCullough and his son were ready to open for business on June 22, 1940. McCullough thought that his soft serve creation was the closest thing to dairy perfection and therefore he called it Dairy Queen.
Dairy Queen struggled during WWII and thrived greatly at the end of the war. They only had 100 stores in 1947 and jumped to a nationwide system of 1156 stores by 1950. Dairy Queen introduced a system of territory operators across the country which still play a great role today. The McCulloughs and Oltz laid groundwork for a franchising system that many fast-food organizations use today.
In the 1950’s they expanded the menu by adding new ice cream products. They later added a food line which the called the Brazier. In the 1960’s many changes were brought about to the operations of the Dairy Queen system. In 1962 Territory Operators pooled resources which led to the establishment of the International Dairy Queen, Inc.
IDQ stock were first traded in the over-the-counter market in 1971. That same year Dennis the Menace had became the new spokesman for Dairy Queen. He has been featured in many television commercials and on DQ packaging since that time.
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