When Tracy David thinks back on her childhood, her memories inevitably turn to her family’s trips to the beach. But while days spent in the sun and sand were formative moments in her life, it was the end of those trips that were always most lasting in her mind--when the family would go to the local Dairy Queen restaurant for a sweet treat.
“As a child, we would take these family trips to the beach, but the beach itself was never my favorite part,” said David, who is preparing to open her first DQ Grill & Chill® location this spring in Walkerton, Ontario. “Afterward, we would go to our local Dairy Queen store as a family, and that was just so important to me. I always said that if I won the lottery, I would use the money to open my own Dairy Queen restaurant.”
While she may not have pulled a winning lottery ticket, David will soon realize her lifelong dream, taking advantage of an opportunity as the Dairy Queen system continues with expansion plans throughout Ontario and other areas in Canada.
“Canadian growth is big for us this year,” said Dairy Queen Canada Inc. Director of Franchise Development Chris Falle. “We are looking to open 21 locations in Canada in 2017, including the target markets of Toronto, throughout Ontario, Manitoba and Newfoundland.”
Falle also said that having franchisees like David on board will help the brand develop a stronger foothold in smaller markets, like Walkerton.
“We are excited for the opportunity to add quality franchisees like Tracy David to the DQ Family,” said Falle. “It’s not often you will get a franchisee who was the region’s former Police Chief living out their childhood dreams of running a DQ restaurant, so we are over joyed to have someone of Tracy’s level of experience and strong ties to the market. Our team is thrilled about the opportunity to continue growing our brand within communities such as Walkerton where we typically thrive.”
David spent the last 32 years serving her community in law enforcement, including time as Chief of Police for nearby Hanover. It’s safe to say that she knows her town well. In fact, she is already seeing incredible demand for more Dairy Queen locations in the area from the local community.
“There are no real fast-food options to speak of in Walkerton, so I know we are going to be really successful,” said David. “And already I have friends in Hanover asking when we are going to be bringing a location there, so I know the area is ripe for further expansion of the brand.”
As the Dairy Queen system continues to grow across Canada with strong operators like David, the brand will ensure that the next generation has the same chance to make their own family memories.
“One of the last things my dad did before he died was to buy me a cake from the closest Dairy Queen store about 45 minutes away,” said David. “That was a huge memory for me, and I just know he would be so proud and excited to see us opening in a few months.”