DOWNEY ‚àí Hoping Downey will serve as the launching pad for his latest creative venture, actor David Lipper, best known for his role as DJ's boyfriend, Viper, on the hit sitcom "Full House," is gearing up to officially open his first eatery, Menchie's, next weekend at Downey Landing."I was looking for a city that was family thick, that's our key demographic, and a place that needed a big name yogurt franchise," Lipper said. "Downey had all of that." Lipper, who has also starred in several made-for-TV movies, said the Downey location is the first of eight Menchie's Frozen Yogurt stores that he plans to open this year. Founded in 2007, Menchie's was the fastest-growing food concept in the United States last year, expanding to nearly 150 stores. This year, the Encino-based franchise, which makes and serves dozens of yogurt flavors, is expected to reach over 300 stores. After visiting a Menchie's location near a friend's house in Sherman Oaks, Lipper decided to open several of his own Menchie's franchises, which he believes celebrate the values he often showcases in his family films and television roles. "I've always invested well," said Lipper of his early days in show business. "I bought several apartment buildings that served me well in later years." Recently, the 42-year-old television star sold some of his apartment buildings in an effort to invest in something different. "I didn't want to invest in an oil company. I wanted to connect with people, something lucrative that make people feel good," said Lipper. "I went with Menchie's because they had the best mission statement ‚àí we make you smile." Lipper, who lives in West Hollywood, has already begun to reach out to local schools and churches hoping to promote his yogurt shop among the community's children. "I like this community, the Chamber of Commerce and City Hall have been great," said Lipper. "I really want to be a part of this community and make Menchie's a real community hangout." In addition to the Downey store, Lipper is also planning to open a location at the Santa Fe Springs Plaza in Whittier, another in Long Beach, and five other locations in Montreal, Canada where he was born. Nonetheless, Lipper said he has the greatest share of ownership in the Downey store, which is located next to GameStop and OneWest Bank. Next weekend, Menchie's will celebrate its official grand opening, starting with a ribbon cutting ceremony at 5 p.m. on Jan. 13. Lipper said 10% of the sales that day will go to Penny Lane, a non-profit organization that finds homes for displaced children and teens. On Saturday, Jan. 14 from 11 a.m.-1 p.m. Menchie's will be giving away free yogurt and t-shirts. The first person in line that day will win a month of free yogurt. Lipper said several of his celebrity friends plan to attend the official grand opening of the store next Friday including actor Kevin Farley, director John Mallory Asher, actress and comedian Jenny McCarthy, Michael Cade of the 90s sitcom "California Dreams," and Brian Krause of The WB drama series "Charmed."
********** Published: January 5, 2012 - Volume 10 - Issue 38