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After collecting his dairy science degree from Utah State Bill Harris had a dream of owning an original Malt shop and branding his family recipes. The search for the perfect location took him up and down the Wasatch Front. He finally appointed Brigham City to be the place.

With its majestic mountains, tree lined streets, loyal citizens, small town feel, and the major road to Idaho running right through the middle of town. It almost seemed to be a predestined location for Bill to begin his vision of a local hangout with a family atmosphere.

By 1937, Bill had finalized the leasing of a small store front at 129 South Main, bought the equipment, and was ready to start off on his epic journey. In those early years, a banana split would set you back 20 cents, 12 cents for a soda, and 5 cents for a fresh limeade. During this time the going hourly wage was 15 cents.

Those first five years sales and reputation were just as Bill hoped. Most of the business came from local Brighamites, but Peach City was making a name within northern Utah and Southern Idaho.

In 1942 Peach City and Brigham hit the jackpot when the government started building a 235, acre 60 building hospital to treat soldiers wounded in World War II. This alone changed this small town and the malt shop feel to one of a military base with soldiers and hospital staff sitting around talking about their experience on the battle field while sipping on a Coca-Cola or a big Iron port and cherry. But the war wasn't always good to Peach City. Harvey Morgan relayed a story to me, “During the war Mr. Harris would get a ration of curtain supplies [he thinks it was dairy products] and once he had sold out of this, he would close down the shop until he received the next ration, sometimes up to a week”. In 1947 Bushnell Hospital closed down and the small town feel soon reappeared.

With The Federal Interstate Highway Act of 1956 and with the announcement of Thiokol coming into the area, Bill Harris knew it was time to reinvent Peach City. So after twenty years at the same location, in the fall of 1957 Peach City moved into it's new home at 306 North Main. With the change of venue Peach City also transformed from an upscale malt shop into the newest movement of the time the Drive Inn's restaurant. It was the hippest place in town. Customers would drive in and order one of Peach City's famous 26 oz malts while still seated in their cars.

In 1958 Bill hired a young dishwasher by the name of Harvey Morgan. Little did he know this was the beginning of a new chapter in Peach City history. Harvey worked his way up the ranks until he was a manager. In the mean time Bonnie Baty was hired as a carhop. They started dating almost immediately. After they completed high school the two were married. They quit Peach City and started college at Utah State University. But their days working at the original Brigham City hangout was not over.

When Bill Harris became ill he asked Bonnie and Harvey for help managing the store while he recuperated. He never did recover from his stroke and the Morgans purchased the shop in 1971.
“Their goal was to hold true to the high standards set by the original founder-rich, handmade ice cream, a bigger-than- average milk shake,the ever popular Big Joe bacon cheeseburger, fresh lime rickeys and those cut-on-site real potato fries. Offering customers a bit of nostalgia with their menu has always completed the Peach City Package”

The Morgan's continued in the ways Mr. Harris had establish, with only a hand full of changes here and there; like new ice cream flavors, putting fish and chips on the menu, and updating some of the music in the juke box. It has remained mostly the same as it was that warm September day in 1957 when it was first transformed into Peach City Drive Inn.

After fifty years of working the Peach City, Harvey and Bonnie decided it was time to hang up their aprons and retire. And that is where I come into this story. My friend and I had been looking for about 5 years to open a franchise of some kind. We had been to Texas, California and Georgia looking into different options that would fit into the Brigham's demographics.

One day as I set in Peach City, I started imaging cooks with the long white aprons and the white paper hats, waitresses dressed in blouses and poodle skirts with roller skates carrying a window tray skating out to your car, and Elvis Presley's “Don't be cruel” playing on the 1956 Sea burg Jukebox. This kind of simpler life is something I have always yearned for. As I was leaving, I noticed Harvey making ice cream the same way they did 70 years earlier and at that point I knew this was the place. The rest of this history is still being written.

Nate Hyde
Kevin Hall

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