The Appleton Dairy Queen Stores have been a longtime family tradition in Appleton since the opening of the Oneida Street location in June of 1950. Surprising to many is the fact that the Dairy Queen name was used by the Liebzeit family prior to the opening of that Dairy Queen store. In 1913, Henry Liebzeit, a cheese-maker, owned and operated a factory in Sheboygan County. In 1925 he purchased another factory in Calumet County from Frank Knier. The plant had no name and Henry choose to call it the Dairy Queen Cheese Factory. This second factory came with an ice cream making machine, cheese making equipment and a milk-bottling machine. While the Liebzeit family was busy with their factories, two men in Joliet, Illinois developed a new ice cream mix and a new ice cream process and then opened the first Dairy Queen Shop in 1940. This shop served a product similar to the soft serve the Liebzeit family still serves today. In 1941, Henry and his wife Lydia opened the Dairy Queen Restaurant at 730 W. Wisconsin Avenue in Appleton.
Henry and his son Merlin decided to work together and in 1944 developed the Dairy Queen Products Company that included the Dairy Queen Cheese Factory. With the name Dairy Queen so prominent in their industry Merlin checked with his lawyer to secure rights and ensure that in Wisconsin their name held the rights to all dairy products. It did. In 1949 Howard Dale of Dairy Queen of Minnesota requested permission to use the Dairy Queen name in Wisconsin. Henry and Merlin simply said no; they entered negotiations. They were offered the right to develop Dairy Queen drive-ins in Appleton in exchange for allowing the name Dairy Queen to be used throughout Wisconsin. In 1950, Merlin, his brother John and his father Henry, created a new partnership and the first Appleton Dairy Queen opened on June 4th at 2000 S. Oneida Street. The 1813 Richmond Street Northside location was added in 1953. In 1981 current owner Steve Liebzeit purchased the company from his parents, Merlin and Erna, and remodeled them into the buildings we recognize today.
Of course, when you think of Dairy Queen you think of treats, one of the most popular being the Blizzard®. The Blizzard® was first invented in 1985 as an exciting way to enjoy candies blended with soft serve. In 2010 the Blizzard® added a new size, the six ounce mini, making it the perfect treat for everyone. This year the Blizzard® once again has exciting news as it launches three new Royal Blizzard® flavors, each with a center filling. Another exciting Blizzard® product introduced this spring is the Mini Blizzard® Cake to serve two to four, a perfect dessert sized option.
Whether you grab a Blizzard® cake or place an order for a personalized design, you are getting a hand made cake by the #1 decorator in the international Dairy Queen system! Last year the decorator at our Richmond Street location, Candice Gumm, entered the Iron Tip competition. She sailed through the first two rounds and competed live in Puerto Rico in January of 2016 and she won! Her beautiful designs fill the displays week after week. Dairy Queen continues to offer great new products and treats to try each month and it is easy to see why so many customers become fans. We hope to see you soon!