Posts Tagged ‘icecream’

Dunbar Dairy Queen & Orange Julius

Thursday, June 22nd, 2017

Ten Years of Tempting Treats. The warm weather has finally arrived and it’s officially ice cream season! Simon and Jessica Tran’s Dunbar Dairy Queen/Orange Julius franchise is a year round destination, yet summer is by far their busiest season as hot Dunbarites come in looking for their favourite frozen treats and beverages.

The couple are thrilled to be celebrating their tenth year as DQ franchise owners. Simon admits that winter was challenging with multiple snowfalls followed by the wettest spring in many years, but they are grateful to their customers who continued to come in for DQ’s treats (Blizzards, soft ice cream, sundaes and legendary ice cream cakes), and Orange Julius’ drinks and hot dogs.

Prior to being a DQ franchise owner Simon worked as a crane operator. When he decided it was time for a career change, a friend who owns a DQ franchise suggested Simon explore this option. Simon was convinced – he believed in the product and signed up.

In 2008 the Dunbar DQ store was new to the area; DQ’s corporate office made the decision to put in a small-scale treat centre rather than a full service DQ grill.

Dunbar’s DQ has succeeded thanks to exceptional products and outstanding customer service.

Simon and Jessica work as a team – he makes the cakes and she decorates them. Customers can order from the extensive designs offered or they can request a custom cake.

He makes the ice cream cakes three times a week for optimum freshness. The store was originally equipped with three display cases but due to the popularity of the cakes he expanded to five cases. “My cakes have to be the freshest in town. I make them as I go. I don’t have the space to store them.” In addition, he also makes the DQ Sandwiches and Dilly Bars.

Dunbar DQ’s top seller is the Dunbar Special Blizzard. Simon laughs and says, “It is also known as the Simon Special.”

This popular Blizzard is created with Reese’s peanut butter, a cookie layer and a shot of liquid peanut butter sauce.

Simon is extremely warm and jovial and is instantly likeable. He and Jessica are originally from Vietnam and both were boat people. Jessica started her new life as a Canadian in Edmonton while Simon lived in Halifax. They met in Vancouver in 1989 and married soon afterward.

Simon bounced around between foster homes and group homes until he was adopted at age 12. He has only positive words to say about his Canadian parents. Regarding his tough early years Simon says, “It made me wiser and stronger. I didn’t have anything until my parents took me in and gave me unconditional love.” His optimistic attitude did not allow him to give up. Simon is very humble and wants to share his story to let others know that it is possible to turn your life around.

Like many small business people Simon works incredibly long hours. For many years he clocked 16-hour days and it caught up with him. He was missing spending time with his young son and he decided he couldn’t do that anymore; he has managed to shorten his days to a mere 12 hours. He smiles and says, “I am blessed and I am happy.”

He doesn’t know where he and Jessica would be without her parents who help with their 8-year-old son TJ. Simon is also extremely grateful for his older daughter Vanesa who is now in nursing school; she assisted her mother and father for many years at the shop. TJ also likes to lend a hand sweeping floors and cleaning windows. Simon believes in starting early to instill a strong work ethic.

“I feel so blessed that I am part of this wonderful community.” Simon Tran

Dunbar DQ believes in giving back to the community that actively supports them; one way they do this is through donations to schools. Simon mentions all of the school kids who come by for treats. He says, “May is my favourite month when students I have seen grow up come in to tell me where they are going to university in the fall. Some will return later to tell me how they are doing.”

Celebrating a 10-year anniversary is a milestone for any business. For Simon the most important message to communicate to Dunbar Life readers is his how thankful he is for their patronage. He says, “What I most appreciate about Dunbar is the people – the families and the kids who have supported me for the last 10 years. Please mention that, won’t you?” I remind Simon that what you give out is what you get back – he likes that.

Dunbar Dairy Queen/Orange Julius
3380 Dunbar Street, Vancouver BC V6S 2C1
Telephone 604-733-2884
www.dairyqueen.com

 

Mac’s Dunbar

Friday, December 4th, 2015

Macs_Dunbar_Life_Palla_Media_Farhan_HaiderMac’s: Canada’s Convenience Store Since 1962

Mac’s has been a fixture on Dunbar Street since 1997. The Canadian convenience store franchise got its start in 1962 under the name Mac’s Milk, represented by the mascot “MacIntosh” the grinning cat, who sported a tam o’ shanter hat and kilt.

In 1975 the company underwent a name change to Mac’s Convenience Stores. In 1999 the company was bought by Montreal based Alimentation Couche-Tard and the new logo “Hibou” the winking owl was introduced, welcoming customers at over 850 storefronts across Canada.

Farhan Haider is the proud owner of Dunbar’s Mac’s and like the winking owl, he has a spark with his big, welcoming smile.

He takes pride in serving people and it is a priority to make customers feel happy when they come in the door.

Originally from Lahore, the capital city of the Pakistani province of Punjab, Haider holds a Masters degree in business administration and learnt how to run a successful business from his 11-year background in marketing.

Macs_Dunbar_Life_Palla_Media_3His new life in Canada began in 2008 when he moved to Canmore, Alberta. While working for another franchise, Shell Canada, he determined he would like to explore this line of work and submitted an application to see what opportunities existed with Mac’s. In 2011 his effort yielded the chance to move to Vancouver to run the Dunbar Street Mac’s.

While product buying is managed centrally by head office, all of the ordering for the Dunbar store is left to Haider. Recently he earned a feather in his cap when headquarters deemed, based on his location’s excellent sales, the Dunbar store would receive a large renovation, which took place this past summer.

New flooring, lighting, a variety of new equipment and a shift in the floor plan transformed Mac’s. Throughout the construction process the business remained open, as Haider did not want to inconvenience his customers.

Today clients have even more selection from the new and upgraded equipment, which offers some of Mac’s mainstay products such as Frosters, Polar Pop, soft ice cream, milkshakes and coffee.

Macs_Dunbar_Life_Palla_Media_frosterFlavours have been added to the Polar Pop soda fountain station (with 20 flavours to choose from at an affordable 79 cents each). There are now 12 Frosters’ on tap, and nine flavours of soft ice cream and milkshakes.

Simply Great, a European brand, is the house coffee which is paired with a state of the art machine that can whip up a cappuccino, latte or mochaccino with one touch of a button. Coffee drinkers are responding favourably and there has been a substantial increase in sales.

Open 24 hours a day, year round, the store’s top selling items include Frosters, milk, candy and coffee. Other popular services include an ATM, and the sale of both transit and lottery tickets. Mac’s has recently introduced their own economical brand of spring water, soft drinks, potato chips, nuts and trail mix (look for the owl logo).

He and his wife Saba, who assists with the business, have a young family (two children ages 5 and 7). They enjoy seeing the shop as a family destination and mention children will drop in for a treat while their parents pick up supplies and look at the magazines.

Mac’s clientele is diverse. The morning tends to bring in older clients who pick up a newspaper and coffee. The afternoon sees working people, school kids and families walking through the door, while night owls (including university students) often come in to refuel with snacks and coffee.

Mac’s Roller Grill offers quick snacks for people on the go such as hot dogs, smokies, corn dogs, taquitos, spring rolls, breakfast burritos and chili cheese nachos. If you are looking for a fresh baked good to accompany a beverage the new Bakery to Go case offers muffins, cream cheese strudels, apple turnovers and chocolate chip cookies.

As a 24/7 business Mac’s is a go to store when other businesses are closed. Christmas and New Year’s Day are always exceptionally busy. Traditionally the convenience store offers customers free coffee on these special holidays.

Macs_Dunbar_Life_Palla_Media_extAs a marketing specialist Haider points out that Mac’s is a wonderful place for gift buying. Two racks are loaded with gift cards with something to please everyone on your list including Mac’s gift card (good for students and teachers), Canadian Tire, Cineplex, Facebook, Indigo, iTunes, Old Navy, SportChek, Starbucks, Subway, prepaid credit cards, and a variety of popular game cards.

Haider appreciates the value of marketing tools such as social media and has created a Mac’s at Dunbar Facebook page so customers can interact with their neighbourhood convenience store.

Going the extra mile for his customers is always at the top of Haider’s list. He mentions making home deliveries for a customer who was temporarily unable to leave the home, and he also recollects making a client’s day when she lost her wallet and never thought she would see it again. It’s all in a day’s work for this friendly business owner.

Mac’s
4470 Dunbar Street
Vancouver BC V6S 2G5
Telephone 604-736-9528
www.mymacs.ca