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Dion’s ranch dressing returns

ALBUQUERQUE, N.M. — The Dion’s dressing drought is over.

The Albuquerque-based pizza chain says it will have its signature ranch, along with its other dressings, back in its restaurants Monday, Feb. 6.

The company had temporarily halted production of dressing last month while upgrading its Duke City production facility, prompting outcry from its impassioned fans.

Dion’s served what it called “high-quality alternatives” to its dressings during the shutdown. It eventually had individual stores start hand-making dressings each day, but a spokeswoman said they might not have been an exact match for the regular version.

But Monday marks a return to normal as the Dion’s production center has resumed its dressing making. A spokeswoman for the 21-location chain says all restaurants will have a supply of the original ranch, Greek and other salad toppers (and pizza dippers).

“We received an overwhelming response to the story about our Ranch dressing, and I understand that many loyal fans dearly missed some of Dion’s signature flavors,” CEO Mark Herman said in a news release. “That’s why we are so excited to announce the completion of the production facility upgrade, which will allow us to continue to provide our quality products for years to come.”

The community had mourned the dressing in its absence, generating a wave of social media commentary.

“Man Dions you could tell me your ranch dressing will kill me if I ate it twice in one day, and I would still eat it three times a day,” Anthony Trujillo posted on Dion’s Facebook page.

In the comments section on a Journal story about the shortage, Richard Lamport wrote: “Economically challenged, Educationally challenged and now Ranch challenged. What next? Grasshoppers? Is this the end times?”

Asked whether company sales declined without its regular dressings, marketing director Deena Crawley said in an email “many loyal fans continued to visit us while we were using substitute dressings. Most customers were gracious about the situation and had a good sense of humor about it.”

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