The founders of the Dairy Queen® system were men and women who introduced a new kind of dessert treat and, in the process, developed the foundation of the franchising industry. The history of the DQ® system is a story of a unique product that created an industry.
A History of Sweet Success: A Smile And A Story®
For more than 70 years, the DQ® system’s recipe for success has been simple. It’s been a combination of hardworking people who own and operate restaurants, and great-tasting food and tempting treats served in our establishments.
Our phenomenal story began with the 10-cent sale of a then unnamed product on August 4, 1938, in Kankakee, Illinois. A father and son partnership in Green River, Illinois, had been experimenting with a soft frozen dairy product for some time. They contacted Sherb Noble, a good friend and customer, who agreed to run the “all you can eat” trial sale at his walk-in ice cream store. Within two hours, he dished out more than 1,600 servings of the new dessert.
Back then, food franchising was all but unheard of, but the new product’s potential made it a natural for such a system. When the United States entered World War II in December 1941, there were fewer than 10 Dairy Queen® stores. However, shortly after the war, the system took off at a pace virtually unrivaled before or since. With only 100 stores in 1947, it grew to 1,446 in 1950 and then to 2,600 in 1955. Today, the DQ® system is one of the largest fast food systems in the world, with more than 6,000 restaurants in the United States, Canada and 18 other countries.
Although much has changed in the world and in the DQ® system through the years, one constant has remained: DQ® restaurants are still, and always have been, the place to find kids’ sports teams celebrating a victory, business people on their lunch break and families taking time out to enjoy great food and soft serve treats. And success for the DQ® system is as simple today as it was in 1940. Satisfied customers lead to successful restaurants. Each owner of our independently owned and operated establishments worldwide is committed to nothing less than the “Fan Food not Fast FoodTM“ slogan.
Highlights of the DQ® system include:
2535 Columbus Street Ottawa IL 61350
When you need a quick bite on the run, Ottawa has a fine selection of national chain and fast food options. Some choices include; Arby’s, Burger King, Cracker Barrel, Culver’s, Dunkin’ Donuts, Hardee’s, Jimmy John’s, KFC, Little Caesars Pizza, Long John Silvers, McDonalds, Papa John’s Pizza, Pizza Hut, Taco Bell, Wendy’s, and Subway. Search your favorite on this site for a complete list.
2749 Columbus St Ottawa IL 61350
630 Court Street Ottawa IL 61350
Steve’s Bakery has remained a local favorite in Streator, Illinois since Steve Elleson opened its doors in August, 1984. Steve has been donning that white apron coated in flour since he was a 7 year old working at his father’s bakery. The baking trade goes back far in Steve’s family, with both of his parent’s having grown up around their own family’s bakeries. His father started out with his own bakery in the Quad Cities and worked his way down Interstate 80, bringing that delicious aroma of doughnuts with him. After graduating from high school, Steve worked in a number of supermarket bakeries in Houston, Texas before he brought his family’s traditions back to Streator, Illinois. Steve says that he knew Streator always had a history of old-fashioned, family bakeries, so he decided to bring the Elleson legacy to the Illinois Valley.
Customers from all over can’t stop talking about the light, airy doughnuts that come out of the fryers at Steve’s Bakery. Steve says that addicting taste goes all the way back to the 1904 St. Louis World’s Fair where the doughnut recipe he uses won a blue ribbon. Those traditions have been passed down to Steve’s own children who grew up working with their father at the bakery, just like he did. Today, Steve’s two sons, Mike and Steven, work with him full-time to keep the three Steve’s Bakery locations up and running. His wife, Jackie, and daughter, Katie, help out with the decorating and manage all three locations of Steve’s Bakery.
Doughnuts, cakes, cookies, breads, and pastries are all made at the Streator location and delivered fresh daily to locations in Ottawa and Yorkville, Illinois. Steve’s Bakery is a longstanding, family establishment that can attribute much of its success to the love and devotion that is put into it by friends and family. The late Jim Mamer, who was one of the family’s good friends, devoted many years to helping Steve out at the bakery. This kind of support is what allows Steve to continue producing such high quality, made-from-scratch baked goods. Steve is always talking about expanding even further, and now that he is a grandfather, it doesn’t look like this legacy will be ending anytime soon!
102 E Norris Dr Ottawa IL 61350
Ice Cream! Just what every kid wants on a warm summer day! Come enjoy our premium soft serve treats that are sure to bring a smile to everyone’s face! Outside and inside seating available as well as Drive-Thru service. SEASONAL. Open 11am – 10pm March through November.
523 W Main St Ottawa IL 61350