The Edgartown Dairy Queen is in new hands, with longtime owners Antone (Tony) and Erika Bettencourt selling the Upper Main street business to the Celeste family.

The deal was signed Wednesday, making the changeover effective immediately. The Dairy Queen will remain open and under regular operation throughout the summer and beyond.

Max Celeste will be running the store with the help of the Bettencourts, who’ve owned the business for 23 years. The current staff will remain the same.

“When [the new owners] feel comfortable, we’ll leave,” Mr. Bettencourt said.

The sale starts a new chapter for a much-loved store, one of few national franchises on the Island.

The Bettencourts owned the building at 242 Upper Main street, Mr. Bettencourt said, and knew they wanted to start a business there but weren’t sure what kind. In September 1992 they drove past a Florida Dairy Queen and Mrs. Bettencourt got the idea. They “called 1-800-Dairy-Queen,” and the store was open the following  May. Since then the store has become iconic to many Islanders, with opening day observed as a minor holiday as children run straight from school to the shop.

Mr. Bettencourt, the former Edgartown police chief, cited his growing children as the reason for the sale. While the schedule allowed them to be present for their kids in the winter, the summer was a different story. “We open at 10 a.m. and close at 11 p.m. so it’s our entire life,” he said. Now the reins are largely out of their hands. “I’d be lying to you if I wasn’t planning on enjoying the summer,” he said.

All Dairy Queen franchises are locally-owned and the Edgartown operation has taken its place in the community seriously. The Bettencourts have donated their products to countless sports, fishing, and boating events over the years.

Max Celeste is part of the family that owns Rosewater Market and Rosewater Wine and Spirits, both in downtown Edgartown. “This won’t be another Rosewater,” Mr. Celeste said Thursday.

He said he plans to run the Dairy Queen exactly as the Bettencourts have for over two decades.

“I want someone who came here last summer and this summer not to notice any differences,” Mr. Celeste said. “Maybe we’ll move the napkin dispensers.”

Mr. Bettencourt chose Mr. Celeste from a pool of interested parties based on his commitment to keeping things the same. Mr. Celeste, in turn, said he appreciated the Bettencourts’ help during the transition, and he has spent the last few weeks working with the couple.

“Their willingness to be helpful in the transfer was a large part of the reason we felt comfortable taking things over,” Mr. Celeste said.

While many other businesses have come and gone on Main street, the Dairy Queen has held its own. “It would’ve been easy for us to pull the plug on Dairy Queen,” Mr. Bettencourt said. “We could’ve rented the building. We love Dairy Queen as much as anyone else. I think the Island will be happy with this.”