June 21st, 2009
01:29 PM ET
5 years ago

Obama and daughters visit frozen custard shop

The president took his daughters out for a frozen treat on Saturday.
The president took his daughters out for a frozen treat on Saturday.

WASHINGTON (CNN) - President Barack Obama and his two daughters enjoyed a pre-Father's Day visit to a dessert shop Saturday.

The president took 10-year-old Malia and 8-year-old Sasha to The Dairy Godmother frozen custard store in Alexandria, Virginia, a short drive across the Potomac River from Washington.

Obama wore slacks and a short-sleeve shirt, and both daughters wore t-shirts and pants for the casual outing, which drew cheers from surprised onlookers.

The president's security detail screened customers seeking to enter the shop while the Obamas were inside.

Shop owner Liz Davis told CNN her first inkling that something out of the ordinary was happening came when several men wearing suits entered her store.

"My manager and I were thinking, 'Wow, they're kinda fancy-dressed for Saturday," she said. "And then they came and said that we were going to be getting a special visitor in about five minutes and would I let them up on the roof?"

She got the key and did just that. When she returned to the store, which was doing a brisk business, at least a dozen Secret Service agents had joined the regular customers, she said.

"I told my staff to put on clean aprons and we just did our usual thing," she said. "We continued waiting on our customers until they came in."

Upon entering, Obama shook Davis' hand ("just right, not too firm and not wimpy").

Except for cutting in line ("nobody minded at all, everybody was very happy to see them"), the first family's experience was like that of any other customer, Davis said.

Sasha got a waffle cone with vanilla custard; Malia got a brownie sundae and vanilla custard and hot fudge with whipped cream, sprinkles and a cherry, she added.

Their father got a cup of vanilla custard with hot fudge and toasted almonds, she said.

But it didn't end there. After Malia decided she didn't want the whipped cream on her sundae, "the president just took a spoon and put it on his sundae, which is a scene that we see enacted multiple times every day, but it was nice to see it enacted by them in just a normal family way."

After getting their $12.40 order (they paid cash), the family sat in the store and ate, she said.

The transaction went both ways. "My gift to him was to give him as normal an experience as possible for him and his children," she said, noting that she had no qualms about letting him pay.

"I didn't ask him to pose with me, I didn't ask him for his autograph. I wanted it to be just like he was a regular customer coming here because I'm sure it must be really hard for those children to be where they are right now. He probably just wanted to get them custard and not have it be a big deal."

But she did give at least one member of the first family special treatment - three puppy pops for the first dog, Bo.

Davis, who developed her taste for frozen custard growing up in Wisconsin, said the global downturn has not affected her adversely, with her business of 18 part time and two full-time employees up about 20 percent this year over last.

"Maybe they're coming to me instead of doing something more expensive," she said.

Davis said neither the president nor his daughters said they liked the custard, but she's confident they did. "They ate it all," she said.

– CNN's Tom Watkins contributed to this story.


Filed under: Obama family • Popular Posts • President Obama
soundoff (301 Responses)
  1. Gerda Edwards

    Brad @ 10:32 am "Gerda, you forget the fact that power shifts after the downturn begins. It takes time for the downward trend to reverse, and if I'm not mistaken, after 4 months of democrats in power, jobless claims decreasing and economy improving. Interesting that?"
    ==================
    You ARE mistaken. The downward trend left by the Repub Congress steadied out in Jan-Mar, and then headed up after that. The numbers take into account a month or two. Use 3-5 months, and the conclusion is the same. Repubs are better at keeping unemployment low.

    One more tidbit:
    9.4% in May 09: unemployment rate after Pres Obama's stimulus package is in place
    9.1% in Dec: the MAX unemployment rate that Pres Obama said would occur WITHOUT his package.

    Looks like he's really screwing things up.

    June 21, 2009 10:43 am at 10:43 am |
  2. Birch Barlow

    This is what passes for journalism these days? Are there no more important events happening across this planet?

    June 21, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  3. Ray

    Champly – Thank-you for demonstrating the ignorance of the extreme conservative. Your posting was perfect. Keep believing President Obama really wants the squalor you describe and has a diabolical plan to convert the US to Cuba. Nice credibility builder for the GOP there. You're one smart cookie - albeit half-baked.

    June 21, 2009 10:44 am at 10:44 am |
  4. Sue

    I like it. It's good to hear nice things sometimes, to get a break from all of the misery of the other headlines. Thanks, CNN!

    June 21, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  5. The Party of NO is only “pro-life” to save a zygote now, so it can then kill the “babies” 18 years later as soldiers in an elective religious war.

    Geez, CNN cannot run a story about President Obama taking his kids for a custard run as a Father's Day feel good story without all the bitter neo-cons attacking.

    I think being a role model for father's that have left or ignore their children, would have been at least a family value the "christian Taliban" could have at least supported.

    Shows, the rabid Reich is all about hate and posturing, NOT "christian" values,

    June 21, 2009 10:46 am at 10:46 am |
  6. Andy

    "Obama gives daughters frozen treat"

    Thought it would be about how Obama gave his daughters alaska haha

    June 21, 2009 10:47 am at 10:47 am |
  7. putergal

    Hey Jane. He is the President of this country and should not be on your list of men to date. Wake up and figure out if you are attracted to him or if you actually know a little bit about our heritage, legal system and how congress works. Geez, your comment is just a little TMI.

    June 21, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  8. otis

    Someone is over-compensating here for not being around all those years. Talk about spoiling your kids rotten: a playground set, Jonas Brothers, a puppy. If this was a true daddy-daughter moment, lose the press and all the cameras!

    June 21, 2009 10:48 am at 10:48 am |
  9. Leah

    TCM: From reading some of your comments (I usually avoid them as they are always hateful), it seems that you are the one craving attention as you sit at your computer blathering on and on and on.

    Must be a good day for you as I see you have several of your usual pointless attacks on other people's view.

    June 21, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  10. this is news

    wait so he cut in line that elitest. Nobody is better than mr. osama

    June 21, 2009 10:49 am at 10:49 am |
  11. Mike Dallas

    All the attacks from the republiKLANs about a fluff piece for Father's Day, shows why the neo-cons have made the "christian" a derogatory term to the majority of non-evangicals.

    Not to mention the blasphemy by calling him the "messiah".

    June 21, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  12. EcoAZ

    Uncle E: I'm not surprised at CNN for running this dribble. Since government takeover of the MSM, where does one go for independent, ethical reporting of the news?

    And for all you indignant Obama fans out there, I'll say it for ya: "Happy Fathers Day to the millions and millions of great Dads out there."

    June 21, 2009 10:51 am at 10:51 am |
  13. Reinstate Darwinism

    CNN, can you just do us all a favor and start an "Obama Watch" section of your website?

    Maybe you can throw all of your "impartial" videos, commentary and "interviews" in there too. It would stop clogging all of the "other" news pages.

    June 21, 2009 10:52 am at 10:52 am |
  14. Will

    Republicans this is why we Democrats can't take you seriously and why you have quickly become the party of no. You criticize Obama for everything... even stuff like this that isn't news worthy.

    June 21, 2009 10:53 am at 10:53 am |
  15. Sk

    WHO CARES?! This is so dumb that the US media is reporting on this junk... so he eats frozen custard. Ok nice family time but really... to report what they were wearing???

    June 21, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  16. DRB

    First off... Who cares, we all get summer treats with our own families who mean so much more to us than what Obama is doing with his kids. Get over it! This is not news worthy. Also, your statement that just like all the other customers – not so, he had someone on the roof protecting him, and he cut in line without waiting like the rest of us who have just as much value as he does.

    June 21, 2009 10:54 am at 10:54 am |
  17. Change in America

    Happy Father Day President Obama

    June 21, 2009 10:55 am at 10:55 am |
  18. Gerda Edwards

    The Party of NO is only @ 10:46 am
    =====================
    Hate much yourself?

    June 21, 2009 10:56 am at 10:56 am |
  19. Dee, NJ

    I'm a Pop-Pop and I got 4 Grandbabies! Thank You for being "DAD" not "President Obama"!

    June 21, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  20. Champly

    Ray dearest – The proof is in the pudding so to speak. You must be on the government dole to have made your statements. If you ever worked for a living, paid taxes, and had to house, feed and bathe yourself you would understand life, and the disgust this Marxist thug brings to many many Americans.

    June 21, 2009 10:57 am at 10:57 am |
  21. Tomcat

    C'mon CNN..."The Obamas go out for custard" is NEWS????????

    June 21, 2009 10:58 am at 10:58 am |
  22. newz4i

    Republican posters: it's noticeable your kids didn't give you the recognition on Father's Day you thought you deserved ... so you attack Sasha and Malia???

    June 21, 2009 11:00 am at 11:00 am |
  23. putergal

    Someday, all you liberals will see how this man has completely manipulated you and the press. Every photo we see of him is one HE has to approve of. Where is Michelle in most of his photos? How about the one of him running down the beach shirtless in Hawaii, or running with the dog down the hall, and now him with the girls.... Don't you ask any questions at all? Execuse me, but Bush didn't have to compensate for anything because he was the real deal. Bush may have been a few things, but his cowboy nature protected this country. North Korea would never have rattled this nuclear saber in front of Bush. And Iran now wants to be liberated like Bush liberated Iraq..... Learn a little you libs and stop hating on Bush and start scrutinizing Obama and his policies, not his date night with Michelle, his parties in the WH, and his Father of the Year award. This is the President we are talking about, not a Celebrity. Start questioning him and his policies. Stop being fooled by his manipulation. Think for yourself instead of wishing your life was like his or whatever you libs are thinking about. Read, listenen and research...then if you still want to be a lib, okay. But just following him because he's cute or black or whatever isn't what this country needs. We need political and military strength, not press and political corruption and manipulation.

    June 21, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  24. jen from VA

    @ Sifti77, if you are so sick and tired hearing about Obama and his family, you are free to not read the articles, you are also free to make comments on Faux news website. This is a nice story about a not so normal father trying to spend a normal day with his daughters. In what way is he exploiting his kids? By taking them out for ice cream? And then you ask about him picking up Bo's poop, by your standards wouldn't that be exploiting the dog too? How about you and the other venom spewing repuklicans on this site get a life. Or better yet, how about you go and spend time, oops i meant exploit your own kids.

    June 21, 2009 11:01 am at 11:01 am |
  25. Herman Melville

    Hey Now!

    This is a blog, not "traditional" news, so you should stop complaining about "this is news?!" They are celebrity, like every presidential family before them.

    Also, CNN should add a CAPTCHA-type application that makes people take three deep breaths and count to ten before clicking "Submit Comment" ... so angry, these people.

    June 21, 2009 11:05 am at 11:05 am |
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