The Santaqueen named Business of the Year 2011
After all these years, the ladies who own the Santaqueen Foodstop in Santaquin can still be found behind the counter serving signature fast food fare like the famous Bacon Crunch.
Kathleen Williams, who built the establishment in 1977, is still the woman in charge of the small-town drive-thru. Her daughter Kelly Stevenson and daughter-in-law Kerri Williams have both helped run the place for the past two decades. On a normal Tuesday afternoon, those two are hard at work whipping up malts while they chat with the customers.
Perhaps that’s what makes the Santaqueen so special; the small-town, friendly atmosphere.
The Santaqueen was selected by the Santaquin Chamber of Commerce as the Business of the Year 2011. While other businesses have come and gone in Santaquin, the Santaqueen has found the recipe for success and has managed to outlive the rest.
When asked how they’ve maintained their loyal customer base through the years, Kerri Williams shrugs her shoulders. “I don’t know,” she says. “Good location I guess, we’re kind of in the heart of Santaquin.”
The food could have something to do with it, too. “I think it’s more like home cooking, not franchise,” says Williams. “Like you go to McDonald’s and it’s the same everywhere you go…here it’s different.”
Over the years the look and feel of the burger joint has pretty much stayed the same. Customers still walk right up to the counter and sit down on the stools that seem like they were taken right out of a 50s malt shop. Orders are scribbled on notepads and the familiar sound of the ‘order up’ bell still rings.
Many of their local customers have asked why they haven’t expanded the store to accommodate more customers, but the ladies don’t seem too interested in getting bigger.
“It’s a lot for us the way it is,” says Williams. “It’s a lot for the three of us.”
Stevenson and Williams admit they get a lot of spring traffic thanks to the sand dunes, and many of their customers are south-bound vacationers who make a special stop into town to visit the Santaqueen. According to the ladies, the burgers are a big draw for the road weary.
“I think we have the best burgers in town,” says Williams.
What’s their favorite item on the menu?
“I like the cheeseburger,” says Stevenson. “When I go out of town and I come home I’m just craving the cheeseburger.”
Willams agrees. “It’s what we always eat.”
The Santaqueen still stands after all this time and customers roll through, shakes and burgers in hand. Williams hopes they keep coming and added a thank you to their loyal burger lovers.
“We appreciate all the people in town that have supported us all this time,” she says.