The History Of The Drive-Thru Daiquiri Started In Lafayette [PICS]
Did you know the drive-thru daiquiri shop originated in Lafayette, La?
I was shocked when I found out, being from New Orleans I ass-u-me-d that it originated in New Orleans. Boy, was I wrong. I got the question in my head after reading an article that Dj Digital wrote 'drive-thru daiquiris may be a thing of the past.' So I started looking into where it all started.
With a quick Google search I came across an article from NOLA.com called the 'The history of the drive-thru daiquiri shop,' and what do you know, the first-ever drive-thru daiquiri shop was built on Johnson St in 1981 by a man named David Ervin.
You may remember it, it was called the 'Daiquiri Factory.' aka: 'snowcones with a kick.' It really was nothing more than a sno-ball stand.
According to NOLA.com this is how Mr. Ervin came up with the concept,
"What I noticed was that it was a package liquor store, a barbecue place, a general grocery store, and they also had frozen drinks," he said. "I looked at that concept and the people that were going out there, and the clientele that went out there. I saw the concept, if it were marketed differently, it would be unique, and it would be just unbelievably successful.
"I sat out and counted cars, and the numbers were just off the chart. I decided I wanted to do that concept, but I wanted to market it differently. I wanted to focus on frozen drinks, no beer, nothing (else). I wanted to do it in a drive-thru environment because I could operate out of a less expensive building and generate more profit with less expense."
This was the beginning of something huge for the state of Louisiana and made Mr. Ervin an over night success. The crazy thing is no one, from the food supplier to his employees thought that this concept would work. He got laughed at where ever he went, some even called him an idiot.
After months of searching Mr. Ervin finally found himself a vacant spot on Johnson St. He set up shop and opened up at 7 a.m. (LOL) and turned on his machines. He waited and waited and watched car after car pass up his shop. No one stopped. He even started contemplating selling it and going back to work in the oil field.
He couldn't sell a single drink during the day.
Well, that all changed once the night came. He flipped the lights on and people started coming from everywhere. As the weeks went by he doubled, tripled then quadrupled his business. He was able to pay off the entire loan within 3 weeks. WOW!!!
Business got so good it started causing traffic on Johnson St. and the Lafayette police department started writing tickets to motorists for traffic violations. Then they tried to shut down the business by passing an open container law.
According to NOLA.com:
On June 25, 1982, Lafayette enacted a municipal ordinance banning open containers. On that same day, the Daiquiri Factory held a promotion in which it served champagne on the house, gave away T-shirts and debuted its revolutionary sealed container – a Styrofoam cup that had a plastic lid held in place by a piece of tape.
That took care of the open container law, but motorists were still being ticketed. Mr. Ervin got smart and started taking pictures of the drive-thru bank across the street that was causing the same amount of traffic every Friday. He then brought it to the courthouse and the police then stopped writing tickets, or so the story goes.
Once this concept caught on, another drive-thru Daiquiri shop opened in LaPlace La. called Glynn's Daiquiri place. Then it caught fire in New Orleans, where there are now hundreds of drive-thru daiquiri places.
For the full story from NOLA.com click here. Mr. Ervin's story could be made into a movie it's so good.
Mr. Ervin is now 60 years-old and lives in Metairie La. The Daiquiri Factory was sold and renamed the Daiquiri Hut. It's now a used car dealership. You probably pass it everyday on Johnson St. across from Sonic. I bet you'll look at it differently now. : )