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Hollywood actor David Lipper Gives Back to his Community
yogurt is more than a delicious treat at Menchie’s. “We make you smile” is
their mission statement, but the true Menchie’s experience begins with their
values: family, community, education, health, quality, leadership, fun, and
Montreal born and raised actor, David Lipper, believes in education and community. That is why he decided to open his Menchie's store at Centropolis in Laval.
One of Menchie’s original concept is to be suburbanite; therefore, being part of the community. David believes Laval offers a strong service sector and boasts a diversified and dynamic economy thanks to its vibrant multicultural community.
When General Manager, Alexander Langlois, informed David of Laval Families Magazine’s community involvement, David was happy to collaborate with it because of its strong ties to the community. Both Menchie’s and Laval Families Magazine organize different fundraising events through the year and are involved with local schools.
David found success as a Hollywood actor, but that doesn't mean that he now rests on his laurels. He strongly believes that it’s important to set an economic foundation because you can go months or even years without getting any meaningful work in his field.
Even after having done nine movies in the past year and half, David thinks that having supplemental cash flow is a necessity and it applies pretty much to everyone and not just to actors. He further explained that this philosophy doesn't just apply to actors; it applies to anybody and to any career you may be in. He added that he thanks his parents for this advice and he would give this advice to everyone, not just young adults.
The Menchie’s concept originated in Los Angeles, California, and David wanted to bring this concept to his original home of Montreal. Living in Los Angeles, Menchie’s is such a popular, enjoyable place to go, not just for many actors and many celebrities, but for everyone. It was the in place to be. “I should try and bring this to friends and family and people I know in Montreal so they can also experience this,” David said.
When I asked him why open this franchise and not something else, he replied: “It’s a franchise I can feel good about. It’s a community-minded concept that gears towards family and community centers. We do a lot of fundraisings, and events. The tag line we make you smile says it all. That’s the kind of business I wanted to be in. Not just something that made business but something that I can feel good about.”
When David came here, there was really nothing but a few yogurt places in the city and Menchie’s is a suburban concept. He never saw it as competition for other yogurt places but as a different concept in the field of frozen yogurt. Self-serve is a new concept in the frozen yogurt market that really took off.
Menchie’s is clearly the market leader with almost 450 stores worldwide with 120 stores in Canada alone. It’s one of the fastest growing franchises in history since its inception in 2007.
Menchie’s has its own research and development team, its own branded yogurt, and its own recipes with the highest probiotics, which means it’s the healthiest as compared to others who use mixes and powder yogurts. Their product line boasts gluten-free, vegan, and no high fructose corn syrup options and we strive to use natural flavors including real cake, cookies, spices, fruits and nuts. The entire line of frozen yogurt is certified Kosher and is awarded the live and active culture seal by the National Yogurt Association. Menchie's focuses on quality, variety and innovation in order to produce the best-in-class frozen yogurt. They even have sorbet which is non-dairy for their lactose intolerant clients.
David reiterated that one thing he loves about this franchise it’s the commitment to community. Menchie’s has no exclusivity to any schools; therefore, they’re happy to do events for all schools. He added, “The schools are a major part of what we do because we believe in education. We have programs where we sponsor the student of the month; we work with the teachers to designate the most outstanding student of that month and we’ll give that student a free yogurt as a reward.” Although Menchie’s would like to help other charities, their focus is on education. “We also work with amateur sports where we celebrate athlete of the month. Anything that provides good values for kids that makes the communities better places for today and for the future, that’s the kind of stuff we want to do,” he said.
Students within the school board or within our communities can participate in “The Athlete of the Month Program”. Each store sponsors a student in amateur sports. For instance, Menchie’s at Centropolis sponsors a student from the Laval community. So each store is a community center of sorts for that community, and each individual store is an integral part of the community that is in.
While the other competitors focus on spending money on billboards, bus stop signs and cars, Menchie’s remains firm in its commitment to working with community centers, amateur sports, and students.
During the academic year is when everything happens. For instance, if there’s a cheerleading squad trying to raise money, then Menchie’s can help them (this also includes any academic club). If there’s a study group that wants to designate some store hours to work on a school project or to come study, Menchie’s works with them.
However, in the summer they’re extremely busy with birthday parties. They’ve had birthday parties every weekend. “It’s something we don’t make money on, it’s something that we just do in the hopes that people appreciate what we’re doing to increase the Menchie’s experience and we hope they’ll come back and see us,” David said. The kids get a visit from their mascot, Menchie. They give them drawings to color in, they get a yogurt with the package, and sometimes they get tee shirts, pizza and juice boxes. If you want to book an event, you have to do it in advance since they’re booked every weekend. Kids do karaoke and take pictures with the cut out board of their mascots.
Menchie’s adheres to healthier options. At the time of the interview, David told me, they were launching their cakes, the week after. These cakes won’t be seasonal but will be available all year round. “We only use fresh fruits, even in the winter when fruits are more expensive. It’s something that sets us apart from the competition. It’s going to be a healthier alternative from the ice cream cakes that people have been buying from the competitors,” David explained. It has taken two years for the research and development team at Menchie’s to make this cake; a much healthier alternative to regular birthday cakes.
Besides his involvement in the community of Laval, David shared that before opening Menchie’s he has been involved with the SHOAH Foundation, founded by Steven Spielberg. SHOAH is a nonprofit organization established to record testimonies in video format of survivors and other witnesses of the Holocaust. Between 1994 and 1999, the Foundation conducted nearly 52,000 interviews in 56 countries and in 32 languages. “It’s an organization I feel very strong about. That’s why I love Menchie’s because it focuses on students,” David added.
The Make a Wish Foundation is another organization David is involved with. “We had a giant event nationwide event that Menchie’s corporate put together,” he told me. “Not only is each store encouraged to do the best they can with this fundraiser but each store is competing against each other for prizes from the corporation itself and the kids and staff will get the rewards.”
Although some people may think David is just another Hollywood actor, the real David Lipper is somebody who loves his work, who is career-oriented, and above all an altruist. He understands family values, the importance of education and community connection. If you talk to David, you’ll realize that he’s serious about human welfare in general. “My focus is the future of tomorrow; the students,” he said when I asked him who the real David was. “Whether that is through the yogurt store or through the SHOAH Foundation or simply trying to be a good leader as someone who is a public figure and to be inspirational by the good things I do rather than by a celebrity. That’s my focus,” He said.
Being an actor and a public figure carries a responsibility. Therefore, he thinks it’s his responsibility to be a good role model for younger generations. “We all have to be role models in our own way whether is as parents as teachers as whatever it is that we do; we should lead by example,” he shared.
That’s why his advice to aspiring actors and youngsters in general is to follow their hearts and their dreams: “It doesn’t come easy and it hasn’t for me. It requires a lot of work, perseverance, and focus. But if you believe in yourself and keep it at it, you’ll get there. Don’t give up!”
Look out for the mini-series Sons of Liberty where David plays one of the leads. The series will come out in December in the History Channel. Also, the horror film called Lost After Dark should be in theatres by early 2015, starring David and Robert Patrick. This film was featured in Montreal at Comiccon in September.
Menchie’s has two promotions going on from now until March: every Tuesday is 2 for Tuesday; buy one yogurt get one half off and every Sunday is Family Day; buy 2 yogurts and get one free.
We encourage families to come in on Sundays and enjoy a healthy delicious yogurt that they guarantee will make you smile.
Join Menchie’s Facebook page for special discounts they run all year.
Facebook page: www.facebook.com/menchieslaval
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