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Prosecco Dessert

From Daily News
Dining Out, L.A. Life Weekend
By Larry Lipson
Friday, November 7, 1997
Prosecco Review

“Prosecco thoughtfully brings forth complimentary bread and olive oil to begin a meal and biscotti to end it. But Dandy Don’s rich vanilla bean gelati with a warm espresso brownie ($4) provides an ultra-superior finish, with or without a glass of spumante or prosecco.”

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Dandy Don’s crumble

From Los Angeles Times
(Thursday, September 18, 1997)
Eats – Restaurant Reviews and News
By Juan Hovey

Just Like Home

“The crumble comes with the best ice cream made by mortal man – a scoop of Dandy Don’s vanilla bean ice cream, made by Don Whittemore of Van Nuys – and if someone at the next table asks for a taste of yours, just say no.”

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Dandy Don’s in China

By Enrique Rivero
Daily News Staff Writer
Saturday, August 23, 1997

Valley ice cream maker scoops out California lifestyle in China

The Golden State, it turns out, is a golden marketing tool for American businesses in China. At least that’s the lesson learned from the success of Van Nuys-based Dandy Don’s HomeMade Ice Cream in Guangdong province (formerly Canton) in southern China.

The California-inspired promotion, the brainchild of California businessman David Tong, seems to be working. In about three years, 13 Dandy Don’s American IceCream franchises have been sold in the province, one of the wealthiest in China.

If you tried to promote American products and use New York, do you think it would work? asked Tong rhetorically.

Dandy Don owner Don Whittemore, who licensed his company’s name and formula to Hong Kong-based concern Bofon International Development Holdings Ltd., said he quickly recognized China as a, well, dandy market to expand.

We, as a people, have no real concept of what’s happening in China and how China is growing so quickly and modernizing itself, he said.

Why is the California lifestyle so fascinating to the Chinese? The country’s isolation during its decades of Communist rule has a lot to do with it, according to Tong.

Now, as the country’s government has loosened, the Chinese have gotten more exposure through television to what lies beyond their borders, and a taste for what’s across the Pacific Ocean.

California is the only thing they really care about, said Joseph Frohlinger, publisher of Frohlinger’s Marketing Report. They visualize the beaches, the sunsets, the Baywatch babes. They want to be like Mike; they want a piece of the culture.

Frohlinger expects more companies to use the Golden State’s image to promote their products in China. It’s a very easy way to grab someone’s attention, he said. By capturing the California lifestyle, you’re capturing what’s fun about America.

Tong was first approached by Bofon in mid-1993 to obtain the franchise to the Baskin-Robbins name. But it had already been taken and, besides, Tong believed a big chain would impose too many limitations on how the ice cream was produced and marketed.

So I suggested a smaller company willing to teach us to make ice cream and do it in China, Tong said. By coincidence, a few weeks earlier Tong had happened to meet Whittemore at a Planned Parenthood fund-raiser.

The Dandy Don name had another built-in selling point: unlike some major names like Haagen-Dazs, the Mandarin and Cantonese pronunciations of Dandy Don are close to the English-language original. You have to find a name that’s easy to pronounce, Tong said.

But image was perhaps the most important element in marketing the product, and Tong seized on the California theme because it was different from the way other ice creams we marketed.

California lifestyle is easier to imagine, to accept, he said. The weather is always good, it’s sunny – it goes with ice cream.

You are tasting the California sunshine. That’s what we say in our promotions.

Download the PDF of this article.

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How sweet it is

From Los Angeles Times
(Thursday, February 13, 1997)
Eats – Restaurant Reviews and News
By Juan Hovey

Oh, How Sweet It Is
Local eateries’ ice cream concoctions can by credited to Dandy Don.

According to Julia Child, the test of a restaurant is its roast chicken – for the very good reason that only a chef whose attention never flags roasts a chicken to perfection.

But to those who love it, a scoop of really good ice cream is at least as much fun as any chicken, roasted to perfection or beyond. Besides, life is short. Have dessert first.

Restaurants that use high-quality ice cream should offer a high-quality dessert, right? It seems worth a thorough test.

No fewer than 15 restaurants in the San Fernando Valley serve Dandy Don’s Gourmet HomeMade Ice Creams, made by Don Whittemore of Van Nuys, a former music industry executive who decided to go into the specialty food business in 1981.

His is good ice cream indeed; Dandy Don’s vanilla bean ice cream won a gold medal at the Los Angeles County Fair last year. And if the testimony of one of Whittemore’s loyal customers – Selwyn Yosslowitz, who runs the Marmalade Cafes in Sherman Oaks, Westlake Village and Malibu – is a guide, diners love it too.

“It’s a phenomenal ice cream – in a league of its own,” says Yosslowitz. “It’s creamy and light, and it melts in your mouth. People go nuts over it.”

Yosslowitz serves the ice cream with two desserts – a French apple tart and a deep dish apple pie, each $5.50. If you take your ice cream straight, three scoops cost $4.95.

Cafe Marmalade is at 14910 Ventura Blvd., Sherman Oaks, (818) 905-8875; 140 Promenade Way, Westlake Village, (805) 370-1331.

Another Dandy Don customer, John Makhani, who runs Villa Piacere Restaurant in Woodland Hills, serves the ice cream in a confection guaranteed to make you impatient to get to it ASAP. Called a truffle, it’s a morsel of Dandy Don raspberry sherbet wrapped in a layer of Dandy Don chocolate ice cream and finished off with chocolate icing. Makhoni sells it for $5.95. You can get a dish of vanilla bean ice cream – the most popular Dandy Don flavor – for $2.95.

Villa Piacere is at 22160 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills, (818) 704-1185.

The Seashell Restaurant and Steak House in Woodland Hills serves Dandy Don ice cream three ways – with French wafers and fresh fruit, with Grand Marnier, and inside a puff pastry topped with hot chocolate. Prices range to $6.50.

The restaurant is at 19723 Ventura Blvd., Woodland Hills, (818) 884-6500.

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Quality Ice Cream

From Daily News
Dining Beat, Lifestyle Section
Sunday, December 3, 1995
By Larry Lipson

“Similarly, there are premium quality ice creams around. For example, the locally produced Dandy Don brand is found at certain upscale dining places like Saddle Peak Lodge in Calabasas. This particular ice cream is also used by movie and TV caterers, including the one who prepares the food for the cast and crew of “Baywatch.”