The Hubbards bring an honest and friendly approach to dishing out tasty ice cream
If you want a delicious mango smoothie or a cookie dough Blizzard served with a smile and an open invitation to return, head over to Princeton’s Dairy Queen.
Princeton residents Don and Deb Hubbard came across the opportunity to take over the Dairy Queen late last year, and they wasted no time contacting the previous owners. Don has been self-employed for decades, so the couple foresaw the business decision as a means toward a quality retirement … and a way to enhance their hometown.
Deb went down to North Carolina for three weeks through Dairy Queen Corporation to train, getting some class time and first-hand knowledge on all the ice cream recipes and how to maintain the quality standards. She also traveled up to Minneapolis for a four-day management seminar to study the ground works of guidance.
When they opened the doors in late February, the ice cream may have melted a bit from the trial by fire.
“The first day we were open it was insane, and there was even a mock recall on that day to keep us up to date on how to handle a real recall,” Deb said, noting things have gone smoothly since the first cone was served. “We inherited all of the staff, and they know the ins and outs of everything, so they’ve been nothing but helpful since we bought this place.”
The Hubbards had to replace a blender and a microwave, and will likely have to replace the soft serve machines with newer models. Dairy Queen Corporation is considering altering their approach to the soft serve machines — eliminating the lines that transfers the mix from the coolers to the dispenser — but that is still in the preliminary stages.
“Regardless, we wash, sanitize and test the mix every night, so no one has had any problems,” Deb said, laughing that she’s a servant with a soft heart rather than a commander in charge, so she treats her employees like she would her children or her friends, and willingly gives back to those who strengthen the community.
“I know I don’t like to be beat down like a dog, so when you’re a quality manager you’re on better terms with your employees, and they can come to you and talk to you about things outside of their employment,” she said, adding all the employees have said they enjoy working for Don and Deb, which reiterates an honest approach where no one dreads coming to work. “We’ve built respect on both ends, and their gratitude is a blessing for us.”
Business has been so good so far that Deb has had to double up on her order forms, and they run blizzard specials and handed out free sundaes on Veterans Day, Mother’s Day and Father’s Day to the deserving recipients. They will be celebrating the Princeton Dairy Queen’s 50th anniversary on Aug. 13 with ice cream specials and live music. The fact the business is seasonal gives Don and Deb time for vacations and their grandchildren, and their contribution to the city gives them overwhelming joy in their hearts.
It was intimidating to think about taking this place over at first, but that has passed, and it’s been great for us.”