On March 24, 1954, Franklin and Jackie Bollinger founded the "Dari-O." This was a popular name at this time. Since a Norborne business already had that trademark, the name was changed to it's iconic "Dari-B," where the B represented the Bollinger family name.
Franklin was informed about the property on the corner of Isley & Calhoun that the city was accepting bids on. Franklin made his bid for the land while he was on leave from the U.S. Army, and consequentlly acquired the land in the summer of 1952. Following his discharge, he built the Dari-B during the summer and fall of 1953.
Most of the help he received was from his father, Clarence. He worked at the Claycomo Ford Plant during this time. He developed the property on nights and weekends. He was helped with the concrete work by Blackie Summer.
How The Idea Came To Be
The idea to open the Dari-B germinated through his relationship with Dr. Ducker Martin, a former Excelsior Springs High School Principal. Martin later worked at Sealright, a company that sold ice cream cups to businesses who served soft serve ice cream. That piqued Franklin's interest and the Dari-B was born.
This new venture in Excelsior Springs became a big hit almost overnight! It was the first business in the immediate area to feature soft serve ice cream dispensed from a machine. At that time, the public was primarily acquainted with hard-serve ice cream at the classic drugstore fountain.
The Dari-B used only the highest grade ice cream mix and top quality syrups and toppings. This attracted attention from locals and those from out of town. Another attraction was the Dari-B's personality and of those working there. These traditions continue to this day!
Family and family connections have played such a pivatol role in the Dari-B's history. The whole Bollinger family worked the business: Franklin, Jackie, and their children. The current owners, Tom Carroll's nephews and nieces have worked for the company, as well as Belinda Carroll's parents and niece.
Ownership has always remained within the family as well, always involving one cousin or the other. In 1978, Tom began leasing the Dari-B from Franklin and Jackie until the end of the 1986 season. For five years, the Dari-B had three different leases, then Tom and Belinda leased it from 1992 until 1997 when they bought the company.
Enriching the Menu
Tom worked many hours behind the soda fountain at his parent's business, Excelsior Spring's very popular Marietta Drug Store. He was tempted to add hard-serve ice cream and fresh squeezed drinks to the menu. He began to do this in 1981. In 1982, he mixed limeade, lemonade, and orangeade together for what he named the "Dari-B Sangria," and it has become the hottest drink going!
Article written by Tom Carroll and published in "The Phunn"