GRAND RAPIDS, Mich. (WOOD) — One of West Michigan’s last Dairy Queen franchises announced on Facebook earlier this month that 2023 will be its final season.
Owners Lynn and John Hunt want to fully retire at the end of this season, which will mark 65 years of this family-run business.
“I was hired as a high school employee and I married the boss’s daughter,” John Hunt said. “It has been for a long time. You live and breathe it. It’s a small enough operation that we have to be here.”
While their daughter, Jessica Barwin, has worked the spring and summer months at her parents’ shop she is not able to fully take on the business at this point.
“Very bittersweet especially since it could have been mine, but my kids are still really young,” she said.
For five generations, this Dairy Queen has welcomed visitors to its windows. The shop has survived recessions, worker shortages and COVID-19.
“It’s a statute on the West Side,” Hunt said.
The family is in the process of hiring seasonal help with the hopes that the next owners will continue to operate this Dairy Queen located at the corner of Walker Avenue NW and Lincoln Avenue NW.
“We’re definitely hiring and look to add to our team to enjoy one last season with the next generation and hopefully hand those people off to another owner,” Barwin said.
The shop opening day is Thursday. It will be open through October.