Young and Hungry

Dairy Godmother’s Owner Doesn’t Want the Obama Bump That Ray’s Hell Burger Got

Dairy Godmother

Ever since President Obama and his daughters visited the Dairy Godmother on Saturday, business at the Del Ray custard shop has increased by 20 percent, enough that owner Liz Davis has had to add extra staff to some shifts. Davis, however, thinks the worst is yet to come.

"My guess is that it's this weekend when it's going to hit," says Davis, a Culinary Institute of America graduate and former pastry chef who opened Dairy Godmother eight years ago.

But here's the thing: Davis doesn't want to alter her business plan, or expand her brand, like Michael Landrum had to do following the president and vice president's run to Ray's Hell Burger in May. She's content running her small independent shop at its current volume.

"I don't really want it to change," Davis told Y&H this afternoon. "I'm a cook, not a businesswoman...This is a shop to express myself."

Davis may be in luck in one respect. The Obamas' stop at the Dairy Godmother wasn't an official visit, which meant that only a White House photographer and a single pool reporter were present for the trip to Del Ray. Contrast that to Obama and Joe Biden's burger run to Ray's, which was packed with members of the press and their cameras. Video of the Hell Burger drive by was working its way across the internets in a matter of hours, if not minutes. There's not a single video, that mother of all online attention-grabbing devices, available of the Diary Godmother visit. At least not one I could find.

But Davis also didn't try to suck up to the president and his daughters. She wanted the girls to have a "regular experience," like every other child who stands impatiently in line at Dairy Godmother, waiting, waiting, waiting for the moment to finally order a sundae or custard with chocolate chips and marshmallow. Davis didn't even play coy about the payment. She readily accepted the president's cash.

"I really don't think he needs my $7," she deadpans.

Photo by cristinabe via Flickr, Creative Commons

  • Bert Covey

    Tim, I was there tonight ... twice, and opted not to wait in line either time.


  • dan riley

    It's great that she has the luxury of rejecting an increase in business...must be nice.

  • Dan L.

    The line of customers was almost always out the door on any given summer evening long before the president and girls arrived. Liz has created a "third place" cherished by everyone who goes. For Liz, it is not about growing the business beyond the amazing neighborhood place we have known for many has nothing to do with it.

  • Del Ray Honey

    She's an ungrateful idiot!

  • Jenni

    Oh please. Whatever!!! In these times she doesnt want business. Especially if it comes as a result of a visit from the Black President right? Whatever. The custard probably tastes like crap anyway. Just for her attitude I would stay away from her joint. She is a large scale IDIOT!!!!

  • Ray. Del Ray.

    Um, wow. Way to pull the race card out of thin air, Jenni.

    And way to play critic without any knowledge of the product: "The custard probably tastes like crap anyway."

    Seriously? Based on what?

    Thinking this one wins for most ignorant comment of the month, Tim.

  • Margaret Gaffen

    Who are these awful people who feel the need to make nasty comments without any actual facts to base them on?

    Liz runs a great neighborhood establishment, and her frozen custard is fabulous! Like the president, she treats everyone just the way she would like to be treated. And, kudos to her, she is not snowed by important people, like lots of DC area residents.

    Please go to her store and sample her custard for yourself, you will be a better person for it! You might even begin to love your fellow man.