The restaurant at a highway crossroads in Lenoir City is reminiscent of the Dairy Queen stands that once dotted rural America, its decades-old building patched together as owners added a dining room and bathrooms to the original ice cream stand.
But Chris Patrick, who once owned six Dairy Queen locations throughout East Tennessee, has eschewed the iconic brand for another, Skinny Minniz, developed by his girlfriend Kelly Clayton, which serves similar but lower-calorie, cooked-to-order, locally-sourced versions of Dairy Queen fare.
Patrick chose to strike out with a new concept â€” which he and Clayton hope to eventually franchise themselves â€” after new investments were required by franchisees by Diary Queen, which was acquired by Warren Buffettâ€™s Berkshire Hathaway in 1998.
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