For fifty years Larry Lipson was the food critic for the Los Angeles Daily News and now reports from Florida weekly with his thoughts and favorite picks for Food & Wine. His lovely Wife Lillian is also on hand at the Lipson Institute for advanced wine studies.
DON WHITTEMORE – DANDY DON’S HOMEMADE ICE CREAM WILL BE SERVING AT THE LA ART SHOW PREMIERE PARTY
Don Whittemore is a funny man with a huge personality who loves to make people happy. Good thing he makes ice cream, huh? Once Upon A Time (circa 1962 – 67), Don was a stand-up comedian. He worked under the name Don Harris in Atlanta, Miami Beach & Newport, KY. (Check out his snazzy tux in this ancient head shot.) If you have some free time one day, ask him to tell you some jokes. The next part of this biography starts just after that but still long long ago, in the Time Before CDs. Don was in the record business. He convinced DJs to play records by Frank Sinatra, Elvis, The Beatles, David Bowie, and Cat Stevens (to name a few). Some of those records went gold. Here’s a photo of him with New York disc jockeys Wolfman Jack (on the left) and Murray The K (center). In the late ’70s, Don decided to leave the record business for good. Too much temptation for a family man, he thought. And too few creative DJs. In 1981 Don and his lovely wife Linda (pregnant with their second child) bought an ice cream shop in Tarzana, California called The Creamery. They thought it would be a gold mine. They were wrong. So they worked their keesters off, got into the wholesale business, and began a catering division. These are photos of Don (photo on the left, 3rd from the left) and Linda (photo on the right) at one of their first hot fudge sundae bar catering gigs at the Directors’ Guild of America. This is how the catering division of their company—now with over 1,000 customers—got its start. They no longer have The Creamery, or any retail shop. But they have begun putting their homemade ice cream into pints, so once again regular folks can buy their product retail. Funny how things come full circle, even if they do take 20+ years. Don’s favorite part of doing business is dealing with people. He loves talking to his clients, making ice cream with them, and helping them promote their businesses. He loves selling his ice cream to new clients, finding out what they want, tempting them with great service. He just loves people. And he loves making people happy. Good thing he makes great ice cream.