On July 4th, The Giampetro family will be celebrating the 28th year anniversary of Whip ’n Dip. George Giampetro, who, at the age of 84, still owns the store, is committed to his business and comes in on a regular basis. We chatted with Anne Marie Giampetro, his daughter-in-law who has been at Whip ’n Dip since high school and basically runs the store with her husband, George Jr.
For those that have never been, (YOU should be ashamed) stepping into Whip ’n Dip is like stepping back into the 80’s, as Anne Marie basically described the look and feel of this family-run Coral Gables staple.
It’s a nostalgic step back to the days where life was about making collages, plastering paint all over the place and where weekends consisted of casual bike rides down Yumuri Street for a kiddie size scoop of soft served vanilla ice cream smothered in a homemade chocolate fudge recipe with pop.
So for this Father’s Day, we thought it would be a nice gesture to dedicate this piece to all the dads out there.
Thanks for changing our diapers (TMI?), making those long lines at Disney World’s Peter Pan Ride with us, and basically dealing with all our shit.
No but really, this one is on us. Belly-up!
THP: How did it begin?
In 1985, my father- in-law was retiring from the University of Miami. He wanted a business to keep him busy and have some income so my sister-in-law and mother-in-law decided to open up an ice cream store. No small business experience and no ice cream experience, nothing at all.
My sister-in-law had worked in Swensen’s, so she liked ice cream and my mother-in-law like ice cream too. And that was basically it.
THP: How would you describe your Shoppe?
It’s definitely a family run small business. We’re one shoppe that we manage. We like to think of our customers as family. The customers, the majority, come almost on a daily basis. So they really have a sense of ownership and pride in the store, which I love.
I love seeing my customers and knowing them, knowing what flavors they like.
And our goal is to provide a quality product, small batches, fresh ingredients and as little processed stuff as possible.
THP: Started in 1985, 28 years, how has it changed since?
It’s changed a lot. When we first started the emphasis was on fat-free. Our biggest seller was out frozen yogurt and we where one of the first places to have it.
Recently, in the past two or three years, the focus has been ice cream, comfort food and treating yourself.
Trends, in terms of flavors, come and go. Salted Caramel is big now but fifteen years ago no one would have wanted that.
We started taking credit cards last year!
THP: Any great customer-relationship stories you can share with us?
We have had a couple of generations of families that come to the store as two or three year olds and now they work here. People that have worked bring their kids here; we’ve seen them grow-up.
I started when I was working in high school and now my kids who are in high school work here.
THP: What’s your favorite flavor?
THP: Strangest flavors?
Grapenut, Thai tea, rose petal for Valentine’s Day, avocado.
I could eat avocado every day. In Brazil they eat it with condensed milk, so we’ll see if I do something like that this year.
THP: Have you tried anything with bacon?
No, but I was thinking about a maple bacon flavor. The salt and sweet make it work.
THP: What is the most popular flavor?
Definitely cookies and cream. Behind that comes vanilla. We are making a white hot heat one; it’s a cake batter ice cream, pieces of cake, and heat sprinkles mixed into it, which is pretty popular.
THP: Weird combinations?
Kids, I think, make weird combinations. Our bulldog blitz, for example, is cotton candy ice cream with peanuts. There was a guy that used to come in that would make a coffee malt milkshake. But you know, to each their own.
THP: How about for the health conscious what can you offer them?
The yogurt with fresh fruit on top or you can add nuts and we also have protein shakes.
THP: Who came up with the mochachino quake? When did you add it to the menu?
My mother-in-law came up with the mochaccino quake. Towards the end of her life, she had really bad arthritis and wasn’t able to get around that much. She loved Starbucks mochaccino and those kinds of things. So she came up with a recipe and we have been making them for ten or twelve years.
THP: What do you think of other ice cream trends, the frozen yogurt trend? Self- service trend?
THP: Future plans?
We just want to try to keep the vibe of it. Keep good employees. We have one employee that worked here in college, graduated from college six years and has a full time job where he travels across the country and still works here two times a week in the evenings because he doesn’t want to leave. And that’s what makes us feel good. Just keeping that vibe and quality control over our employees and our products, at this point, is our primary goal at this point.
So there you have it, Hungries, if you haven’t been to Whip ’n Dip or you are craving some nostalgia in your ice cream, then this is your spot.
And if we’re leading by example, we should mention that President Jimmy Carter stopped by once, maybe you should too.