FRIEND – Friend is about a mile long east to west. On the western edge of town on the south side of U.S. Highway 6 is Daisy Queen.
A fast food restaurant and ice cream shop that dates back to August 1951. Originally owned by Glen and Peg Kinsman.
“The building was originally a fill-up shop,” new co-owner Amanda Moon said. “So, they purchased it to make into a Dairy Queen. They actually lived in part of the building in the back, and they ran the front part as the Dairy Queen.”
Due to difficulties with the Dairy Queen Corporation, the Kinsmans renamed their business as “Daisy Queen.”
The 68 year-old restaurant is under new management this summer. Moon, and Jesse Fousek, met last October and began a relationship.
A relationship founded on the dream of owning a restaurant.
“We discovered that we both loved cooking,” Moon said, “and we love the restaurant industry. We both have a lot of experience in the restaurant industry. We started looking at this area. We live in Exeter.
“We kept driving by it, and looking at it, and it had that nostalgic feel, and it had a great history. So, we contacted the previous owner and kind of took it from there.”
Daisy Queen opened for the summer on May 20. It’s barely been 10 days, but Jesse and Amanda have already noticed its continued popularity in the community.
“They just seem to be so excited that this place is still open,” Fousek said. “I think a lot of people were very worried that it was going to go under.”
Daisy Queen is open 11 a.m. – 10 p.m. seven days a week. Amanda and Jesse have a staff of about 15 employees helping out.
The experience of owning their first restaurant together has been exhausting, but well worth it.
“So, we’ve been at least getting about four hours of sleep a night,” Moon said, “but it’s getting better every day.”
Even if she is running on fumes, running Daisy Queen feels pretty much routine for Amanda. Her father, Lowell, has owned a Dairy Queen in Concordia, KS for 36 years.
“I think my first job was chopping the ButterFingers,” she recalled. “I think that’s one of the reasons I love food so much, because it’s been such a big part of my life.”
Amanda and Jesse currently live in Exeter. Amanda’s from Concordia, while Jesse grew up in Central City.
Amanda taught poetry and drama at the Scottsdale Preparatory Academy for 10 years before meeting Jesse, who’s still employed full-time at Friend Freightways, Inc. as a service technician.
Their relationship, and ownership of Daisy Queen, are still in the infancy stages. When they look to the future, though, they don’t want to picture anything different than what they’re doing now.
“(Amanda) grew up in a Dairy Queen, so this is second nature to her,” Jesse said. “I was in college for eight years, and worked food service jobs the whole time. We’ve both been just really passionate about food. So, the goal is to be here.
“We’ll maybe update the building or something, but I think this is the location for us.”
You can follow Tommy on Twitter @Tommy_NCN.