The History of Noble Stores, LLC
A new product ….
Born in 1908, our founder and DQ pioneer, Sherb Noble, was raised in Clemons, Iowa. After high school, he attended Iowa State University, Ames, for a two-year dairy course. He returned to Clemons to manage a creamery for a short time and then decided to move to the Kankakee, Illinois area. In 1938 Sherb was running three ice cream parlors, named Sherb’s, serving typical hard packed ice cream. One day, the people who provided Sherb with his ice cream, the McCullough’s, told him about this new ice cream innovation they called soft serve. They believed that ice cream served at a higher temperature didn’t freeze the taste buds and allowed a person to fully enjoy the flavor. They were sure it was going to be a hit, but were at a loss about marketing the product. Sherb suggested they use his store and run an all you can eat for 10 cents sale. So on August 4th, 1938 they did just that. The sale was a huge success, 1600 servings in an hour and a half. The store was so packed, Sherb was concerned the customers would break the glass out on his store front.
Two years later on June 22, 1940, Sherb opened the very first Dairy Queen in Joliet, Illinois. He went on to open another Dairy Queen store in Aurora, IL, but soon after answered the call of duty, serving his country by fighting in WWII. When Sherb returned home, he went back to his business and continued to open more Dairy Queen
locations. Sherb was very successful during his career, but nothing brought him more pleasure than to see the smile on a child’s face when he handed them a perfect ‘curl on the top’ cone.
The Tradition Continues
Dairy Queen continued to grow through the years, becoming one of the earliest and most successful franchises in the United States. The product is so popular that Dairy Queen has expanded internationally. Patrons all over the world enjoy the creamy decadent taste of DQ soft-serve, in fact, right now, someone in Asia is probably enjoying a Green Tea Blizzard, the most popular Asian flavor. It is hard to believe what started in a small ice cream shop in Kankakee, IL has evolved into the international brand that so many people easily associate with today.
The Noble family owns and operates seven Dairy Queen locations in the Kankakee and Aurora, Illinois areas. They are continuing the tradition of providing patrons with courteous, efficient service, a quality product, and a memorable experience.
Events & Recognitions -
We love to celebrate our history and the history of Dairy Queen. Below are some of the recognitions and events that the Noble DQ family has participated in.
August 4th, 2013 - Noble Dairy Queen recreated Sherb’s 1938 – 10 Cent All-You-Can-Eat Soft-Serve sale at their seven locations. The event was a smashing success. Customers turned out in droves to celebrate the anniversary and secure the delicious frozen treat that endured for 75 years. In keeping with Sherb’s original sale, the promotion started at 8 PM and lasted until 9:30. Patrons were served a 5 oz. dish of Vanilla Soft-Serve and were welcome to reenter the line for refills. During that 90 minute span Noble Dairy Queen dished out 4398 servings, not including refills. The sale was most popular at the Station Street Dairy Queen in Kankakee, Illinois, just blocks away from the original sale. This location served 980 initial servings and estimated another 500 servings in refills. This sale caped a summer long 75th Anniversary celebration that featured 75 cent monthly specials offered on the first Sunday of each month.
The Kankakee Daily Journal featured the event as their front page article for their August 3rd Weekend Edition – Click here to Read
The Monday August 5th edition of the newspaper featured a follow-up article – Click here to Read
May 20, 2011 – The Noble DQ family participated in a dedication ceremony to recognize the building where Sherb opened the very first Dairy Queen. Also in attendance was John Gainor, president and CEO of International Dairy Queen, and many Joliet dignitaries. Here are some articles that highlight the event: TribLocal Article, Route 66 News, Herald News/Sun Times Article
June 22, 2010 – Illinois Governor Pat Quinn issued a proclamation declaring this day Dairy Queen Day in Illinois to celebrate the 70th anniversary of Sherb opening the first Dairy Queen in Joliet, Illinois. Click here to listen to audio or Click Here to watch video from the proclamation ceremony.