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. mtm

    Why is this news........why are you reporting on what Obama is wearing like he is an LA celebrity? Iran is imploding and he is out getting custard with his kids? There is no balance in your life when you are the leader of the free world and frankly there shouldn't be. Remember the man came in with little experience including life experience since he is so young. Roll up the sleeves and burn the midnight oil.

    June 21, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  2. Leah

    I , for one, am tired of Obama exploiting his kids and then blasting deadbeat dads and moms.
    You must be one of those deadbeat dad or moms to not understand that a good father has the right to take his children out for a treat once awhile. especially when they are that young.
    Then again, what do you know.
    They are different between parade all your family for media show like Palin did and taking the children out for a frozen treat near the house you know.

    He didn't ask to be famous, People love him, so get over it.

    June 21, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  3. Leah

    How is the fact that the President can't even take his two daughters out for an ice cream treat without CNN's pathetic descriptions and repeating of "overheard" conversations the fault of the president?

    I am sure all three would have rather just gone without the fanfare and enjoyed a typical father and daughters moment.

    To say that this is exploiting his children is pathetic; it has been years since there have been children this age in the White House and they have every right to enjoy the time to take part in American traditions as any other family.

    June 21, 2009 10:05 am at 10:05 am |
  4. newz4i

    Republican poster are insane! They're new complaint: Obama and his two girls go out and eat frozen custard.

    June 21, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  5. The Unshrub

    The anti-Obama people need to learn how to lighten up a bit. Obama is going to be our President for at least 4 years and at the rate most of you are going, you’ll be giving yourself a heart attack way before his first term is completed.

    June 21, 2009 10:06 am at 10:06 am |
  6. No Obama = No Hillary

    Even if President Obama picks up "dog BO's dump" you won't be surprise because you want him to be as miserable as you. But that's not going to happen. He's the president and he's allowed to have fun on the job as well. Meanwhile, if you've issues with him, just crawl back under Rush's armpit.

    June 21, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  7. TCM

    Libs –
    Don't get me wrong...I think it's great anytime, any dad, spends time with their kids...fantastic, and kudos to Barry for his efforts.

    However, I believe we're more upset with CNN whitewashing and omitting stories like the illegal Walpin firing, favoritism of ACORN, waffling on IRAN, and other pertinent news issues......but yet, rush like wolves to cover an Obama human interest story...SEE?

    They cleverly cloak the real issues; sorta like having termites in your wall, eating your house...and you're smiling on the other side, applying a new coat of paint.......sooner or later, despite how good it looks, your house (or in this case, our country) will crumble into a worthless heap.....

    Happy Father's Day to all – including you lib fathers.....and CNN, stop brown-nosing....

    June 21, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  8. No more GOP

    Seriously folks, we need to just ignore the naysayers and just fix this country, they find fault with everything being done. I have read comments here ranging from taking up arms and civil wars and it sickens me. This country is in a state of revolt because of greed, one group took advantage of the other to the point they simply couldn't take anymore. They throw their remarks about a 3rd world country, and socialism....with no concept of reality. This happened because many of us were forced to the poverty line in this country. After 30 years its obvious to most of us that the 'trickle down' economics the Republicans promote obviously don't work, yes they get their 'breaks' and are so greedy they have been taking the 'trickle up' for years as well. I'm sick to death of Republicans telling me I want to sit on my can and have everything handed to me, I work, I pay taxes, my family's spilled blood for this country, I want an AFFORDABLE solution when it comes to health care that doesn't take advantage of me. I am sick of paying inflated drug costs and not being able to put food on the table as a result. I applaud this President, he care's and he's making an EFFORT and not out for his own self interests. And to the venom spewing people on these sites, its very simple.....you complain about personal responsibility...time you show some...You made your bed, now lie in it.

    June 21, 2009 10:07 am at 10:07 am |
  9. TCM

    @ LEAH -

    You're terribly wrong with your last line,....Obama CRAVES to be famous...he loves the spotlight...it's that little part about being the president that keeps getting in the way.....of his photo ops....

    June 21, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  10. Leah

    Who cares about this moron and his moronic children. Get to work and worry about our country- poor excuse for a president.


    I truly feel sorry for you. Did yo have a miserable life as a child? not to recognize that a good parents usually take their children out once awhile.
    You may not care about them because you are one of those 28% of of what left for the GOP but another 70% love them and like to see them and happy for them. Get your act together and learn to be happy just a little bit, it might do you some good.

    June 21, 2009 10:09 am at 10:09 am |
  11. Jason

    You had to mention the fact it was just a short distance into Virginia. You had to indirectly remind people of date night in NY. You guys never used these tactics when Bush flew to Crawford! You have no shame.

    June 21, 2009 10:10 am at 10:10 am |
  12. Champly

    Hmmmmm....these frozen treats would tast so much better if the ice cream shop were controlled by some of Barry's Marxist buddies. Dictate the flavors, dicate the cost, dictate where the shops are located. All in the Obamaist tradition.

    And stop exploiting your children Barry. It may turn them into the shallow and ideologically driven person your wife is.

    June 21, 2009 10:11 am at 10:11 am |
  13. catmom

    TCM, I don't believe President Obama ever said anything about putting his children in public schools. They attended a private school in Chicago why would you think that would have changed. My goodness, he is President of the United States and his children should be in school in the safest environment as they can be. His children deserve the best education they can pay for. I'm sure if you have children you would also look for the best school to put them in and the safest one.

    June 21, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  14. TCM

    @ PAUL –

    Think abouty this; this isn't IRAN...having defended this country ....I'm ready to continue defending it...fully armed and ready for anyone that wants to disrupt our freedoms and way of life...so, preach your "obama-army," scare tactics somewhere else....after all the tables will be turned; he's one and done...by his own ego.

    What are you some ACORNER getting ready for the census?

    June 21, 2009 10:12 am at 10:12 am |
  15. Joan

    Get. real. President Obama is not exploiting his children. He just took them out for ice-cream. How many of the complainers take their kids for a treat? They should. The real winner is the owner of the shop because now her business will soar. Any place he visits seems to get a real boost.

    June 21, 2009 10:13 am at 10:13 am |
  16. Rumsfeld

    Sifto77....maybe you should check in with the White House and see if they would hire you...to pick up after Bo. Your attitude is an embarrassment.

    Keep up the good work Pres. Obama and thank you for showing how you care for your daughters. Happy Father's Day to you.

    Obama now and 2012.

    June 21, 2009 10:14 am at 10:14 am |
  17. Mich

    Ice Cream $20.00
    Car ride $15.00
    Taking over GM $Billions
    Selling out Investors $Billions
    Funneling money into Accorn $Millions

    fooling dum down american public. Priceless

    June 21, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  18. Melissa

    I cant believe with all thats going on in Iran Cnn reports this under political ticker

    June 21, 2009 10:15 am at 10:15 am |
  19. Rumsfeld

    Leah! Keep at it. Good points.

    June 21, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  20. shoedog

    WHO CARES. why doesnt the press report real news, like the fact that the unemployment rate is 9.4 and rising This is higher by 1.4 than Nobama said it would be if we didnt pass the stimulas but thats ok, we believe everything he says, even when he doesnt have the faintest idea of what is the truth.

    June 21, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  21. Dawn in Pa

    OMG...how many are fathers here; how many have fathers alive; how many fathers are fighting in the war... give it a rest... You Right wingers are totally off the freaking wall... You yell about family values and yet when the President spending time with his daughters.

    Think before you strike, because what you throw into the Karma comes back to you three fold...

    Happy Father's Day, to all the father's here and to the President of the United States...

    I have to call mine....

    June 21, 2009 10:16 am at 10:16 am |
  22. Champly

    catmom – So Barry's children should be safe but not mine ? I want my tax dollars back so I can send my children to safe schools.

    Obama is the typical elitisit Marxists – egalitarianism for thee, but not for me.

    June 21, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  23. jennifer

    My problem with this is the day he went on, was during a full blown crisis in Iran. Protesters are being killed and begging Obama for help. It was insensitive of him. It had to feel like he turned his back on them, when they needed him the most. When will Obama start acting like our President? And stop going to fundraisers. Please get to work.

    June 21, 2009 10:18 am at 10:18 am |
  24. kshaw

    Happy Father's day to POTUS and all Fathers.

    June 21, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
  25. Gretchen

    Who cares?! Aren't there more important things to be reporting on in the world then the King and his royal family getting ice cream??! And to those people who are writhing in "how dare you call his children morons", you're right, it's never okay to attack children for the attitudes people feel towards their parents. So why was it okay to call the Bush girl's every disgusting thing under the sun for 8 years? You are a bunch of hypocrites, and you need to wake up and see that things are as bad as they ever were and this man is buying ice cream without a care in the world. Thre are people in this very country that can't afford to buy their kids a single scoop right now. Arrogant!!!!

    June 21, 2009 10:19 am at 10:19 am |
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