2.11.2015

A Grandma's New Found Love for all things Frozen: Dairy Queen and Elsa

The other day I took my Mom on a media event to our local Dairy Queen on Walnut Street in Cary. It was a Frozen inspired event to celebrate the national chain's 75th anniversary. MiMa, as my family calls her, likes to attend my more simple and budget-friendly restaurant assignments with me.  Let's just say when she learned during our visit that Dairy Queen has an all-beef hot dog on its menu for under $2.50 (She quoted the exact price for me on three different occasions within half an hour), she was hooked. And when she got to know Andy Valkanoff, the local owner behind three Dairy Queens in Raleigh, Cary, and Morrisville, she vowed to become a loyal, local customer.

Hines-Sight Blog Southern Parenting Tale: A Grandma's New Found Love for all things Frozen: Dairy Queen and  Elsa
MiMa and Liza at the Dairy Queen in Cary, N.C. 

While there, she ate chicken strips dipped in BBQ sauce, munched on fried onion rings, and tasted the brand new heart shaped frozen ice cream cake. Her granddaughter, my 5-year-old Liza, was really the special guest for the event. We just tagged along as her supporters. Liza was invited to decorate her own frozen heart cake with the Frozen Queen, herself and participate in a Valentine's campaign around a new, sweet little heart cake designed just for two.

Hines-Sight Blog Southern Parenting Tale: A Grandma's New Found Love for all things Frozen: Dairy Queen and  Elsa
Liza and Elsa

This  is a sweet, new little treat that would fit a Grandma's budget nicely for Valentine's Day. Kids love to share experiences with their grandparents more than anything. They won't remember the material things purchased by grandparents  but they'll always remember the gift of time. This is something that I think my Mom has mastered quite nicely with my two children.

Hines-Sight Blog Southern Parenting Tale: A Grandma's New Found Love for all things Frozen: Dairy Queen and  Elsa


MiMa enjoyed talking to Andy and his wife, Christina, about the restaurant business. My Dad owned budget-friendly restaurants for more than thirty years before he passed away in 2005 with a brain tumor, at the age of 72. We sold those restaurants during his illness. Like me, she misses my Dad terribly, and we both love it when we see young couples with good business sense following the same community-focused path that my own Dad followed during his own years in the restaurant business. Between us, she also misses sitting down and ordering a meat and two vegetables entree daily in his restaurant, too and not getting a bill. She loves it when she finds good food for a good value in her local neighborhood that works well for her on her senior citizen budget. And more importantly, the restaurant was spotless, and the food was good.

Hines-Sight Blog Southern Parenting Tale: A Grandma's New Found Love for all things Frozen: Dairy Queen and  Elsa
Photo from Clairemont Communications. Dairy Queen owner, Andy Valkanoff, welcoming guests to the anniverary celebration. 

Even though Dairy Queen is a national chain, Andy and his team, are deeply committed to supporting their local community. They will work with local schools on fundraisers, church projects, and other events that support the community.  He and I chatted about this for awhile because in today's marketing, there is a huge push for supporting Small Business Saturday and #EatLocal. He feels he falls into those categories, too. I agree. Sometimes local chains get lost in the shuffle because people don't understand the local connection.

We're not talking farm-to-table food here. That's a whole different ballgame. This is about local businesses supporting and keeping the dollars local.  Many owners of franchises, like these Dairy Queens in Wake County, are local and support the community in so many ways.  My own father supported the community where I lived in the mountains of North Carolina.  In his 30 years in business, his in-kind and monetary donations surpassed hundred of thousands of dollars. In fact, he used to do the minimum advertising that his franchise required, and the rest he put forth to supporting the community. He didn't have to do it, but he would never have achieved success without doing it.

Hines-Sight Blog Southern Parenting Tale: A Grandma's New Found Love for all things Frozen: Dairy Queen and  Elsa
This particular Dairy Queen in Cary makes 200 cakes a month in-house. 

No wonder MiMa found a new favorite local restaurant after this visit. Andy's own daughter is about the same age as I was when my parents ventured into the same type of business. I think MiMa felt right at home.

If you see MiMa there eating a cupid cake and a hot dog for under $2.50, say hello.

Happy Valentine's Day!

Be sure to check out my date ideas for February in Greater Raleigh, too.


Valentine's Day cakes at Dairy Queen



Disclosure: So, what did I get out of writing about Dairy Queen today? Nothing, but a good time. I got to have fun with my Mom and daughter, chat with other bloggers, and meet people in our local community. I write things on this blog when I have a story to tell whether I'm compensated or not. And in other news, get out and explore North Carolina and tag your photos #outaboutnc. I would love to see them. 



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