08/05/2014 12:13 pm ET Updated Oct 05, 2014

14 Things You Didn't Know About Dairy Queen


For decades upon decades, Dairy Queen has been there for you in the summertime with ice cream, burgers, and the occasional visit from Bill Clinton. But how much do you actually know about this ever-evolving, soft serve-slinging "fan food" behemoth? Well, did you know that it was founded by a dude whose name was "Grandpa"? That revelation -- and more -- right this way...


Credit: Flickr/Ian Muttoo

1. The original formula for DQ's soft-serve was developed in 1938.
It was created by John Fremont "Grandpa" and Bradley McCullough. (Yeah, dude's nickname was actually "Grandpa." No wonder he invented something you don't need to chew.) It was first sold by family friend Sherb Noble at his ice cream store in Kankakee, IL. The first stand-alone DQ wouldn't be opened until 1940, in Joliet, IL.

More: Power-ranking every single Blizzard at Dairy Queen


Credit: Dairy Queen

2. The "curl" on top of the soft-serve is considered a DQ trademark.
It's occasionally referred to by employees and DQ acolytes as "the Q".


Credit: Flickr/Mo1229

3. DQ also owns Orange Julius!
Yep! That perennial mall food-court favorite is a subsidiary of DQ's parent company (meaning you sometimes can find Orange Julius' signature smoothies on DQ menus), and they also own Karmelkorn, a flavored popcorn company started out of Wyoming.


Credit: Flickr/Aaron Friedman

4. However, DQ itself is owned by Berkshire Hathaway.
It was bought by the conglomerate in 1998, so technically Warren Buffett is the Dairy King. That guy's resumé is lookin' good!


Credit: Flickr/M01229

5. The largest DQ location ISN'T IN AMERICA?!
It's actually located in Riyadh, Saudi Arabia -- where ice cream is ostensibly always in season. Meanwhile, the busiest location in the world is in Charlottetown, Prince Edward Island, and the largest location in the good ol' USA is in Bloomington, Illinois. USA! USA!


6. In 1985, the first year the Blizzard was introduced, DQ sold more than 175 million of them!
That stellar rate of consumption more than paved the way for our editor to try 22 of them in one sitting.


Credit: Flickr/Cory Doctorow

7. Dairy Queen currently has locations in 30 countries.
And it's also pulled out of its fair share of countries, as well! Some places that used to have DQ's but no longer do (weep for them): Austria, Dominican Republic, Hungary, Italy, Japan, Morocco, Slovenia, South Korea, and Turkey.

There's still seven more things you didn't know about Dairy Queen -- and they're all on!

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