Were you one of the many that was sad to hear that the Dairy Queen in “downtown Vail” was up for sale? If so, it’s time to rejoice once again! That’s because a new owner has arrived on the scene and is ready to keep this beloved ice cream shop in business. 

Meet Debi Browne. She’s the new owner of the Dairy Queen on Colossal Cave road and is eager to meet the Vail residents. Here’s her story in her words:

1. Tell us a little bit about yourself.

My name is Debi Browne. Myself, and my 3 siblings, Cinda Kennedy, Marcia Liverman and Eric Hoffman purchased the Vail DQ February 24 of this year. Our parents, Jack and Bernita Hoffman, got into the DQ business about 42 years ago. My father worked at the Uof A as the Registration Coordinator, and had the opportunity to purchase a DQ. At the time, they had 3 teenagers, so they figured DQ would be perfect! They purchased the DQ on Sarnoff and Broadway at that time. We were all partners with my parents at the Sarnoff store, but in 2014 it became ours. I have worked at the DQ for the entire 42 years, and Marcia and I have managed it, together, for the past 25 yrs. Eric bought the 22nd St. DQ about 8 years ago, and has a manager, Debbie Visser, who runs his store. L

2. Is that what made you decide to purchase the Dairy Queen in Vail?

ate last year we had the opportunity to purchase the Dairy Queen here in Vail and we are very excited to be here! We thought we had two different managers to help me at this store, but at the last minute, neither was able to join us. Just last week, I hired a manager who will be in the store 4 days a week, open to close, and I will be there the other 3 days. Her name is also Debbie!

3. What do you love most about working in this town?

We love being down here in Vail. The people here have been so receptive and kind to us. I inherited some of the best employees ever!

4. When people come to visit, where are the first three places you take them.

When we have out of town visitors, we always make sure they see Sabino Canyon, Colossal Cave, and Saguaro Natl Mon..

5. Will you offer fundraising events that community organizations can be a part of?

We love doing fundraisers for the community. If you’re interested in doing one with us just give me a call at 762-0343 and ask for Debi Browne.

6. Promo Time! Anything else you’d like to share about the Vail Dairy Queen?

We are excited about some new items coming your way at the DQ! Soon we will have “Hot Bakes”! How does Hot Apple Pie or Triple Chocolate Brownie with ice-cream sound for starters? We will also be adding three new hot sandwiches, and will be implementing the ” $5 Buck Lunch”!!!

The “Food” side of the business was new to us. We have purchased some new equipment and finally think we have it figured out. (Thank you for your patience!!!)

Come on in, check us out, and introduce yourself. Im anxious to get to know you!

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Lucretia Free