Young Entrepreneur Makes Tasty Profits in Northern Minnesota

Photo of Andrew Peralta

Andrew Peralta, owner of the Thief River Falls and Roseau Dairy Queens, was chosen as Minnesota’s 2016 Young Entrepreneur of the Year.  Peralta’s drive and ambition, along with the help of his local Small Business Development Center, has resulted in him owning a $1.5 million business at age 26.

Peralta has been a business owner since age 13 when he and a friend started A&P Lawn Service to earn money after school and on weekends. Not much later, he began working at the Dairy Queen at age 15 and was always willing to do whatever it took to get the job done.  Former owner Marty Johnson says of Peralta, “I knew early on that Andrew was different than the rest of the young people I had employed.  He was always willing to learn and help out wherever he was needed.”

Peralta left the Dairy Queen a few different times to go to school and take advantage of different opportunities but he always made his way back.  In 2013 he had worked his way up to general manager. At that time Johnson, “allowed Andrew to run the store as his own knowing he would one day own it.”

Under Peralta’s management, the business went above the $1 million sales mark for the first time ever in 2015.

In June of the same year, Peralta fulfilled his dream of purchasing the restaurant. Waiting for the opportunity for years he prepared himself and planned accordingly. Working with the Northwest Small Business Development Center in Walker, Minn., Peralta completed his financial projection and related business plan and approached the president of his local bank for a loan.

Peralta currently employs 40 full- and part-time workers at the Thief River Falls Dairy Queen. His other entrepreneurial successes include buying, fixing and reselling houses for a profit, which helped him raise the capital to purchase the restaurant. In June 2016, Peralta used an SBA 7(a) guaranteed loan to purchase the Roseau Dairy Queen, employing an additional 29 people.

An active community member , Peralta is on the Chamber of Commerce Board in Thief River Falls.  Of his community contributions, Kermit I. Genereux, president of Genereux Realty Inc. says, “I’ve seen him take people who were down on their luck and help them out with a place to rent or a job.”

“Andrew is an example to many young people that with hard work and patience you really can succeed.”

Peralta plans to own several other Dairy Queens in Northern Minnesota. With a large supportive family behind him and his record of success, he is poised to be a leader in northern Minnesota’s business community.

Company Name: 
Dairy Queen
Location: 
Thief River Falls and Roseau