I was sitting at a Menchies in Downey, indulging in a delicious frozen treat with store owner David Lipper, when a starstruck fan walked up to him. “Viper?” she asked. The fan quickly apologized saying she knew that Viper wasn’t his real name. “You can call me Viper,” David responded good-naturedly. “Just as long as you’re enjoying the yogurt.”
Clearly, many people recognize David Lipper as D.J. Tanner’s sexy, rocker boyfriend Viper on “Full House” and from his many TV movies such as “Black Widower” and “See Jane Date”. So, how did he venture into the world of Menchies frozen yogurt? David told me, “As an actor, there’s so much that’s out of your control. It’s important to set an economic foundation because you can go months or even years without getting any meaningful work.” Also, like any other consumer, Lipper loved the Menchies product. He saw tons of people waiting in line outside the store, and his business instincts kicked in.
Menchies has become the celebrity choice of frozen yogurt, attracting the likes of Adam Sandler, Jennifer Garner, and the Kardashians. When it came time to choose a location for his own franchise, Lipper initially gravitated towards the Hollywood/West Hollywood areas, where celebrities could hang out and tourists could have the opportunity to hang with David and his friends. Menchies had other ideas, though, since they are typically rooted in suburbs. Finally, David stopped fighting them and said, “Okay, where would you like for me to go?” Lipper now owns stores in Downey and Santa Fe Springs, and although it’s not what he originally envisioned, he’s come to find these are cool places and is grateful he’s had the chance to experience them.
After witnessing the one fan encounter firsthand, I had to know if this happened often and what was the typical reaction to people seeing David Lipper at his stores. David says he runs into fans every time he’s there and is always happy to take photos or sign autographs. He’s learned he has more fans than he ever realized and has really enjoyed getting to interact with them. “In Hollywood it’s really easy to get sequestered in a group with your peers. It’s cool to spend time in stores really connecting with my fans. It’s nice to know people appreciate the work I’ve done.”
So, what can we expect from David Lipper in the future? A lot! There’s his television pilot with Kevin Farley and Medient Entertainment (The production company behind Yellow, starring Sienna Miller and directed by Nick Cassavetes). He can also be seen in the feature Two Jacks, which was directed by Bernard Rose and just screened at the Montreal Film Festival on August 25. With Menchies doing well, David is excited to refocus on what he loves doing the most, which is acting.
By the way, “Full House” fans can rejoice. David still chats with Candace Cameron Bure and has developed a close friendship with Jodie Sweetin and her family. Sweetin came to the openings of both his stores, and there are pictures of them hanging on the walls. Go to Menchies in Downey and/or Santa Fe Springs to check them out, try some delicious frozen yogurt (the cake batter flavor is to die for), and possibly meet David Lipper. He may even let you call him Viper.
Samantha Waranch is a blogger, screenwriter, and author and has written articles for Girl’s Life Magazine. She loves all things Hollywood! Follow her on Twitter @SammiRobin.