Dairy Queen feting 50 years serving district

Bryce Forbes

For 50 years, the Thomson family has been serving Rainy River District “hot eats and cool treats” as proud owners of the Dairy Queen here in Fort Frances.
To mark its half-century of existence, the popular eatery is offering various deals to its loyal customers all this week.
Currently in its third generation of Thomson ownership, Elgin Thomson first opened the restaurant in the east end of town near Pither’s Point.
It then was passed to his son, Bob, who ran it for 30 years prior to his passing three years ago, when his daughters, Candice and Christin, took over the family business.
“It’s cool to still have it in the family after this many years,” said Candice, who has been working at the Dairy Queen since she was 14.
“My grandpa started it up out in the east end at the Point, so my grandma mentioned some stories about how hard he worked originally, long, long days, and starting out with a nickel cone 50 years ago.
“There are definitely some family stories with the restaurant and it is nice to still have it in the family,” she added.
After spending about 20 years in the east end, the restaurant moved to its current location on King’s Highway, about the same time Bob Thomson took over the business.
When her dad passed away in 2007, Candice thought it was meant to be that she would continue the restaurant.
“It was when I realized this is where I was meant to be at that time,” she remarked. “It’s a great job to have, a really great business.
“We are very lucky,” she admitted. “We have a variety of menu products and Dairy Queen is always a great place for a treat after soccer or baseball.
“To make it to 50 years, it is really special.”
In celebration of their half-century in town, the family is hosting a series of special sales all week long.
There were 50-cent sundaes on Monday while yesterday it was buy one cheeseburger, get the second for 50 cents.
Today, it is buy a small blizzard, get the second for 50 cents while tomorrow (Thursday) they are offering 50-cent Buster Bars.
Then on Friday, it is buy a Peanut Buster Parfait and get the second for 50 cents.
So just when might the local Dairy Queen cease to be in the Thomson family?
When asked if the store would be passed on to the fourth generation some day, Candice replied it definitely was a possibility.