Monday, January 4, 1999

Isle Dairy Queen
franchise sold

The new owners are
negotiating to open two
additional stores on Oahu

Star-Bulletin staff


After 50 years as a franchise in Hawaii, Dairy Queen Products, Inc. has a new owner, it was announced today.

The new owner is the Wisconsin-based HDQ Inc. owned by brothers Patrick, Jeff and Robb Mehring.

No sales price was disclosed.

HDQ, which operates three Dairy Queen/Orange Julius stores on the Big Island, on Dec. 1 bought statewide franchise rights from the Irwin Thom family. The purchase included Dairy Queen stores at Ala Moana Center and Ward Warehouse. The Big Island stores are at the Kings Shops at the Waikoloa Beach Resort, Coconut Grove Marketplace in Kailua-Kona, and at the Parker Ranch Shopping Center.

Patrick Mehring today said HDQ also is negotiating to open Dairy Queen stores at Aloha Tower Marketplace and at Pearl Highlands Center.

While no leases have been signed, Mehring said he hopes to open the new locations in April or May. He said HDQ has also identified two sites on Maui and plans to expand to Kauai.

Mehring said Dairy Queen will no longer serve hot foods, concentrating instead on deserts and Orange Julius drinks.

Dairy Queen Products is a subfranchise of International Dairy Queen Inc., a Minneapolis-based company that was acquired by legendary investor Warren E. Buffett's Berkshire Hathaway Inc. last January.

The Mehring family has been involved in Dairy Queen operations for 43 years, starting with Jerry Mehring's opening of a franchise in West Bend, Wisc. Jerry Mehring, father of the three sons operating HDQ, Inc., heads MDQ, Inc., with 30 Dairy Queen stores in Wisconsin.

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