Lemoore's Fosters Freeze restaurant celebrates its 25th year in business

By Ed Martin, The Leader Editor
Fosters Freeze owner Ray Moore and longtime supervisor Scott Rozzell.
Fosters Freeze owner Ray Moore and longtime supervisor Scott Rozzell.

There’s no telling if President Ronald Reagan ever enjoyed a good hamburger, but if he had been in Lemoore in 1988 when he was still our Commander-in-Chief, the Gipper could have munched on a Big Boss burger from Foster’s Freeze, a local establishment recently reopened that year thanks to local businessman Ray Moore.

Moore and Foster’s Freeze celebrated their 25th year in business in Lemoore this past weekend and from the look of things, they could be around for another 25.

Moore, 64, who in 1988 was working in sales management, was looking for an opportunity to open a business when he heard from Foster’s corporate offices that a vacant restaurant was available in Lemoore. Moore jumped at the chance, packed his bags and left a comfy job and home in Ventura County and arrived in Lemoore to take over a Foster’s that had been shuttered for a couple of years. It seems the corporate Foster’s Freeze folks couldn’t seem to manage its corporate stores in the San Joaquin Valley and probably were more than happy to sell the store and franchise to the up and coming Moore.

“I was looking for a good location,” said Moore, a bit grayer and thicker that he was when he arrived in Lemoore in 1988. “They offered me a lease so I re-opened the store in 1988.”

The Lemoore store was indeed a corporate store built in 1985. It was one of three corporate stores in the valley, and things just weren’t working out. The corporate honchos closed the doors in 1986 and it remained vacant until Moore arrived in Lemoore and opened it on October 25, 1988.

Unfortunately, President Reagan could not make it for the grand opening.

“Business has been good,” said Moore. “This will be a record year for us.”

Moore decided that he wanted to celebrate his anniversary so he spread the party out over three days. On Friday, anyone in uniform could get a free Old Fashion Combo. On Saturday Foster’s offered a variety of activities, particularly for the kids. Youngsters could get their faces painted, ride a train, bounce in a bounce house, consume 75-cent hot dogs and corn dogs, and see the Lemoore Police Department DARE vehicle on display.

Sunday was reserved for senior citizens and those over 60 can get a free banana split between 3 p.m. and 8 p.m. as long as the ice cream lasts.

“I like to see people happy,” Moore said while reviewing the choo-choo train traversing his large parking lot at 71 East Hanford Armona Rd. “I like to see kids having a good time.  I didn’t want to see 25 years go by without doing something special.”

Moore, who puts in long hours himself, has been an active member of the community. He is a former Chamber of Commerce Director, worked on the annual Cars in the Park Show for several years and between April and September hosts his special Cruise Nights at his restaurant where locals display their fancy cars.

His biggest seller? The Big Boss is the top burger while the public’s favorite ice cream seems to be the popular twister. Judging from the long weekend party, he just might continue selling plenty of burgers and Twisters for the next 25 years.

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