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

Obama and daughters visit frozen custard shop

[cnn-photo-caption image= http://i2.cdn.turner.com/cnn/2009/images/06/21/art.bocustard0620.gi.jpg caption="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. lynn

    As a proud "Obamabot" I am not gushing over this story! In the words of the great Joy Behar... "Who keeeeres, so what!!! (shoulders bouncing!!)

    That said, I wish Pres. Obama and his most proud family a wonderful Father's Day.. frozen treats and all!!

    June 21, 2009 12:21 pm at 12:21 pm |
  2. Emma

    Oh, come on, sifto77, or whatever your moniker is. We have a real life president. Do you want him to stay cooped up in the WH 24/7? You need to get real.

    June 21, 2009 12:22 pm at 12:22 pm |
  3. puckgirl01

    this is cute story, Always like to know what the pres and his family are doing. Good to see he is still trying to be a normal dad with his kids.
    My husband takes my kids out for ice-cream all the time in the summer, something here in Chicago , is a summer-time tradition. Nice to see he can still do that.

    When did you ever see Bush out with his kids
    You just saw his kids getting drunk and in clubs.

    He should have taken his kids for ice-cream instead.

    June 21, 2009 12:24 pm at 12:24 pm |
  4. La Chatte

    This is not news. I don't give a rip if the Prez and his kids eat frozen custard. In fact, I think I think it's lovely,

    June 21, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  5. CGR

    T-shirts and pants, slacks and short-sleeve shirt?! Thanks you for this!!! I wouldn't be able to sleep if I didn't know what clothes they wore to an custard shop.

    Every president/family/kids have done this sort of thing in the past. Why is it such a big deal now?

    June 21, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  6. pastabella

    Ok....please no more photo ops with burgers and custard for the Great One and concentrate on what he's doing (or not) to get this Countr & Americans in a better state...economically and psychologically. Or is his visit to a custard shop a diversionary ploy to get Americans thinking "awwwwww" and away from the major issues we face?

    June 21, 2009 12:25 pm at 12:25 pm |
  7. La Chatte

    Posted the last message before it was finished...

    BUYING FROZEN CUSTARD IS NOT NEWS. Come on CNN– are you an entertainment channel or do you occasionally deal with hard news?

    June 21, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  8. Frank

    While I feel it is great to see that President Obama loves his family, I feel there are more pressing news stories going on in the world today that should be covered, as opposed to his trip to an icecream shop. CNN is starting to feel more like tabloid news. Whatever happened to your journalistic integrity? Next you'll be writing about how many shoes Paris Hilton has. Let's get back to the real news.

    June 21, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  9. Anonymous

    We are all happy to see our president in "normal" situations. He is not trying for a photo-op, but rather to be part of the people and live as normally as possible. Can't stay holed up in "that house" all day and night. We love you, Mr. President...and you are doing a terrific job.
    You certainly have a lot on your plate to fix from the previous village idiot. We love you!

    June 21, 2009 12:27 pm at 12:27 pm |
  10. Jason

    The man is an inspiration to fathers around the world.
    May God bless your family Sir.

    June 21, 2009 12:28 pm at 12:28 pm |
  11. Penguinn

    How nice to have a President who does not live in fear of the American people.

    June 21, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  12. Ciera

    Rather than viewing this as exploitation, how about the message to fathers that in spite of his busy schedule, even the President of the United States sets aside some quality time to spend with his children...After all, it IS Father's Day.

    June 21, 2009 12:29 pm at 12:29 pm |
  13. Kim

    This is a lovely father's day story.
    You know what would make it even better????
    If thousands of fathers were not out of work....or were not working 2 or 3 jobs to make ends meet. Stop blaming Republicans for everything already. Stop pointing fingers. May I remind yo uof a Democratice President who couldn't keep it in his pants.

    ENOUGH yes we can and how about some WHEN ARE YOU GOING TO????

    June 21, 2009 12:30 pm at 12:30 pm |
  14. EcoAZ

    It would be far more interesting to get a breakdown of how much money that narcissistic little custard shop field trip cost the taxpayers, with Secret Service personnel, security vehicles, sharpshooters on roofs, and paid paparazzi. Say about $40-60 Grand worth of ice cream?

    June 21, 2009 12:31 pm at 12:31 pm |
  15. strong

    The Obamas cut in line and nobody minded? Couldn't they wait their turn? Good thing, I wasn't there, I would have told them to get back in line and wait your turn !

    June 21, 2009 12:32 pm at 12:32 pm |
  16. annie against biased news

    cnn, msnbc, abc, etc keepon you on your toes, obama is testing you to see who gives him the very best coverage! When he shuts down all but one government owned news media he will pick the one who focused on him the most and the best! Good luck and start putting some money aside because if you are the winner, he will control your salary also. Of course, you won't have any viewers except for obama because the rest of us won't be able to afford the electricity for a tv.

    June 21, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  17. Kevin

    Really? CNN homepage news? Who gives a flying frisbee if Obama takes his kids out for ice cream? Remember when only news got treated as news? Those were the days.

    June 21, 2009 12:33 pm at 12:33 pm |
  18. DB25

    Custard? Are you kidding? Who cares????????????????

    June 21, 2009 12:34 pm at 12:34 pm |
  19. once upon a horse

    ahh another hatefest for the far-right Obama haters. Funny that the GOP and far right always are talking about FAMILY VALUES but when something very family oriented is posted about President Obama they moan and whine about it. Must be hard being you guys.


    June 21, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  20. JM

    That's sweet. Happy Father's day, one and all.

    June 21, 2009 12:35 pm at 12:35 pm |
  21. cj

    While I actually think this is a nice little story.. Let's be fair.. if this were a Palin story the board would light up with the usual nasty comments about her "parading her children out there".. AHhh the double standards are wonderful...

    June 21, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  22. Janet from California

    Hey folks! It IS Father's Day! How great to see a very busy President take the time to spend with his two daughters! Right on Mr. President! You are awesome!

    June 21, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  23. ck

    Notice CNN keeps moving this stupid "feel good" story to the top of the page.

    No matter how warm and fuzzy you make BO out to be, it still ISNT FIXING what needs to be fixed right now!!

    CNN, the Nat. Enquirer trumps your news coverage!

    June 21, 2009 12:39 pm at 12:39 pm |
  24. Scott

    While I am pleased with the job the President has done thus far, is it really necessary for us to know he took his daughters to get a frozen treat? Come on folks, I realize this may be a "feel good" story but really? Is this all we have to talk about?

    June 21, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
  25. Jim

    Really? Does anyone care? Is this all the news people can come up? Why are we so enthralled when someone has custard with their daughters? Here's a thought, go report some news! If you can't find anything to do but read this crap about people and their private, every day life, you're a loser.

    June 21, 2009 12:40 pm at 12:40 pm |
1 2 3 4 5 6 7 8 9 10 11 12 13