BERLIN - Gary and Linda Somerset, along with their daughter, Amanda, owned the Kensington Dairy Queen for 38 years.
Twelve years ago, the Cassetta family purchased their first Dairy Queen in Portland after being introduced to it by the Somersets.
The Somersets also owned the Meriden and East Hartford Dairy Queens, but have decided to retire from the fast-food business and recently sold the Kensington location to the Cassettas.
“When you get to be my age, you have to retire,” Gary Somerset said. “It’s sad, but we are happy because of the family we sold it to. They are great people.”
The transaction between the two Berlin families closed on June 3. The Kensington Dairy Queen is now owned by Michael and Rosemary Cassetta, their son, Paul, and his wife, Nicole.
“It’s a wonderful business. They did a good operation so we are blessed to take it over from them,” Rosemary Cassetta said.
The Kensington DQ is a walk-through shop, but the Somersets expanded it, adding a drive-thru window and a patio with seats and umbrella.
The Cassettas owned Kensington Hardware from 1982 until 2000. That’s how they first met the Somersets.
“We closed that door and we went into the ice cream business,” Rosemary Cassetta said. “We’ve known Gary for about 30 years. Gary introduced us to the Dairy Queen business. We were blessed that they came up to us about a month ago.”
The Kensington Dairy Queen is the fourth Dairy Queen the Cassetta family has purchased. They also own the Portland, Enfield and East Hartford restaurants.
The Cassetta family said they like the industry because “it makes people happy, we see kids smile, families together. It doesn’t matter what’s going on in their lives; it just makes people happy.”
The Cassetta family said they want to keep on improving the business.
“We are looking at doing certain renovations,” Michael Cassetta said.
“I’d like to be able to display cakes. You know, we can increase our cake sales if they could just see some samples,” Rosemary Cassetta said.
The store sells cakes, including customized Blizzard cakes.
The store also offers soft-serve ice cream and smoothies, sandwiches, hot dogs, pretzel sticks and more.
It employs 16 people, but “we are always looking for good help,” Michael Cassetta said.
The Kensington Dairy Queen is open 11 a.m. to 10 p.m. Monday through Sunday during the summer.
Dairy Queen locations are kicking off summer today by giving away a free ice cream cone to anyone making a purchase and presenting a coupon from Dairy Queen’s mobile app.
To learn more about Kensington Dairy Queen, call 860-828-9610.
Karla Santos can be reached at 860-801-5079 or email@example.com.