Clarence Wright, founder of the Dairy Freez, died on Sunday. (CBC)

An iconic Essex County business will be closed on Thursday, as staff and family members say goodbye to its founder.

Clarence "Click" Wright opened the Dairy Freez on Talbot Road in North Ridge, near Essex, back in 1954. 

In an interview with the CBC seven years ago, Wright said, "My own father told me I'd lose my shirt."

But Wright's business went on to become one of the longest existing and most successful in the county.

Wright died Sunday at the age of 93.

His granddaughter, Arlene Reaume, took over running the burger and ice cream drive-in.

"We have people that come up and tell us they met here. They came here on their first date, and they're coming back now and bringing their grandchildren." said Reaume.

People praised the hamburgers and the ice cream at 'the Freez', as it was known to its customers. One of its more famous concoctions was a Vernor's and ice cream float, called the Boston Cooler.

"He started serving it [and] it become wildly popular," said Charles Kaufman, a long-time friend of Wright's.

The ice cream stop was closed on Thursday so friends and family could attend the funeral.

The Dairy Freez will stay in the family. Click Wright's great-grandson, Jeff, was poised to inherit the business.


The Dairy Freez has been a fixture in the county since 1954. (CBC)