The Calm Before the Blizzard(s)
It’s Wednesday, March 13. The day is sunny and Spring is in the air. Today, the Dairy Queen in Edgartown is opening its doors for the 20th year. At 11 a.m. when the sign is turned to open, there will be a line of people out the door. But at 9:30, owners Tony and Erika Bettencourt, have the music going and are putting the final touches on everything.
Double-checking all the machines, Tony, an Edgartown Police Officer who’s on “vacation” to help get the place opened, finds that the shake machine is not working. Not to worry, his wife and partner, Erika, has a replacement piece. Things are back on track. Soon, they will serving ice cream and cranking out the Blizzards, their most popular item.
You would never think that in less than two hours, it’s going to be a madhouse at DQ. These two are laughing with me, playing with my son, and could not be any cuter together. Having a business together, three girls, and being married for 16 years — these two could not be any happier. They make me like DQ even more!
How Dairy Queen Came to Edgartown
The Bettencourts opened their Dairy Queen 20-years-ago, and each year, it is a favorite place for Islanders and visitors alike. Tony is still surprised how much people love it, since he doesn’t eat ice cream. Erika however, is a lover of ice cream, and her favorite menu item is a Reese’s Blizzard. She has some good taste, that’s my favorite too!
How does one decide to open a Dairy Queen? Well, Tony and Erika were on vacation in Florida, and saw a DQ with a line out the door. They said, “Hey, we should open one of these on the Island.” They already owned the building and at the time it was vacant.
So, when they got back home, they called the DQ 1-800 number, and as fate would have it, the franchise DQ rep for the area was in Hyannis the next day. They met, then Tony and Erika flew to Minneapolis, signed the contract, and welcome Dairy Queen.
Since the first day they opened the doors, the Dairy Queen has been a hit. On opening day, all the kids from the Edgartown School ride their bikes so they can stop at DQ on the way home. Each year, there is a line that still surprises people. Sometimes, it almost reaches the road.
It’s actually quite understandable. After a long, grey winter, who doesn’t want a DQ treat. It’s the Blizzard you’ve been hoping for all Winter long. Also, the opening of DQ means that Spring is really almost here, and that’s another reason to go, to celebrate the end of Winter.
Something Special Every Month
With all this talk of Blizzards, I should mention that the Blizzard of the Month for March is Mint Oreo, yummy, perfect for St. Patrick’s Day this weekend! Each month they have a special Blizzard that is available only for that month. Perhaps a MV Bucket List item would be to have a Blizzard of the Month from now until October. I feel like this would be a very attainable goal.
What’s the Dilly (Bar)
Sorry I couldn’t resist. OK, here are some interesting things I learned, old and new, about Dairy Queen in Edgartown. First of all, people order their ice cream cakes for weddings. How cool is that? Who doesn’t love ice cream cake?
Second, I realized that they carry hot dogs and offer hot dog combo meals – a great, inexpensive lunch or dinner. They’re actually really good Tony told me.
Third, this year, the Orange Julius‘ are all new. New recipes, new choices, which include some awesome healthier options for those who have the willpower to resist the ice cream.
And last but not least, there are some great options in the coolers there to take home with you, so you can have a little DQ later, like Dilly Bars and Buster Bars – yum!
The Opening Day Phenomenon
Is Beyonce back on Island? Perhaps President Clinton is here? Nope – it’s opening day at Dairy Queen. This day really is a day that Islanders look forward to, especially the kids. For weeks, parents have been saying soon to their excited little ones, and now that word is yes. We can go to Dairy Queen. It will become a weekly ritual for many, and a reason to get out of the house. I know how this goes for now my own daughter will ask for DQ every time we go to Stop & Shop.
The line was long as expected, but people were smiling! Everyone was excited to get their first DQ of the season. It was a family affair for me. Parents and their siblings all waiting patiently. Lucky, it was a beautiful day weather wise and the perfect day for a Blizzard. I did indeed get one, Reese’s and ate almost the whole thing. I gave a little bite to my son. Being a pro at this, I skipped lunch in anticipation of my tasty treat. So, as I write this, I am happy and full, and planning my neext trip!
A funny little fact about this particular opening day, the DQ staff are wearing Plane View Restaurant t-shirts. This is because Jilly, J-Bone (Erika and Tony’s nickname for her) Jackson, one of the owners of the Plane View is volunteering to help out today. They’re good friends of Erika and Tony’s, and that was part of the deal. It’s tough to staff the shop right now.
However Erika and Tony will have AJ, the store manager for 15 years, and Nicole, who has worked there for 20 years to help out to. This DQ must not only be a delicious place to work, but also an awesome place to work.
Get a little taste of Spring, Dairy Queen is open 7 days a week, 11 – 9 Sunday through Thursday and 11 – 9:30 Friday and Saturday.
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