Owner of first Dairy Queen in Benton honored

Local News

BENTON, Ark.- A special man in Saline County is honored Monday.

Mr. Tommie Adams was the owner of the first Dairy Queen in Benton nearly 60 years ago.

Now, he’s back and ready to make those iconic soft-serve cones.

As the store celebrates him, Mr. Tommie says it’s not a celebration for him, but really for the community.

“We came up next week, and we became owners of a Dairy Queen, and I had never made a hamburger,” Mr. Tommie recalls.

It was 1962. Mr. Tommie Adams and his family of four started the original Dairy Queen on Military Road in Benton.

“This is Dairy Queen,” Mr. Tommie says. “Dairy Queen is the most consistent franchise. They’ve never changed their formula since 1934.”

Closing after 25 years, Mr. Tommie was thrilled to see the new DQ open on Highway 5 in Benton earlier this year.

“Oh, I was excited!” Mr. Tommie exclaims.

“There was an overwhelming feedback about Mr. Tommie, especially on social media and in the restaurant,” says Blake Lively, the owner of the Benton Dairy Queen.

When Lively opened the shop, he knew what to do.

“We were able to do some local networking in Saline County and we were able to find Mr. Tommie,” Lively explains.

So today, Lively and the rest of the community are celebrating the original Mr. Dairy Queen.

“He’s been a true blessing to visit with,” Lively says.

Throwing it back to the original prices in the ’60s, burgers and Blizzards were just 99 cents, but the real celebration, according to Mr. Tommie, isn’t for him.

“Tommie Adams is not the story,” Mr. Tommie says. “It’s about all those kids and the parents they took to me and my family. That’s the story.”

It’s the original Saline County community that supported Tommie and his family, that continues to support the Lively family today.

So ever after close to 60 years, Mr. Tommie can make the perfect cone, just like hi did on his first day.

“That’s good stuff.” Mr. Tommie says. “Never change, the formula never changed for that!”

To meet Mr. Tommie and enjoy a treat for the price of what it was 50 years ago, just stop by the Benton Dairy Queen until 6 p.m. Monday.

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