When John F. Kennedy ate ice cream, he was on a boat, in a polo shirt, with his mouth open wider than the cone.
It’s executive moments like those that inspire Jim Warlick. The political history buff and JFK fanatic has branched out into frozen treats with Presidential Scoops, just a block from the White House.
The small shop serves 16 flavors, all named for a different president. Warlick started a Facebook campaign asking ice cream lovers to help.
The winning entries include Donald Trump’s “extra rich” chocolate chip cookie dough, Barack Obama’s strawberry jubilee, Richard Nixon’s cookies and cream and George Washington’s vanilla.
Want your cone “trumped”? That means the shop will give you an extra scoop, to match how the current commander in chief reportedly takes his dessert.
From Trump's Extra Rich Chip to JFK's Birthday Cake, New Ice Cream Shop Has Something for Everyone
Warlick is no stranger to D.C. His first job in the city was as an aide to former North Carolina congressman Vonno Lamar Gudger Jr. He went to the 1980 Republican National Convention to sell buttons and never turned back.
“I designed five Jimmy Carter buttons and five [Ronald] Reagan buttons, the old-style look from the turn of the century. I drove all night to Detroit. I got a $28-a-night hotel room,” he said. “I sold on the street outside the convention center with my little blue jacket, my tie and my board, and I made more money in a week than I did in a year with my congressman.”
Warlick was making $8,500 a year in his entry-level job with Gudger.
“I came back to my congressman and I said, ‘I’ve got to quit. I’m going to go on the road selling buttons at rallies,’” he recalled. “I loaded my car up with Reagan and Carter buttons, and I’d do a presidential rally somewhere every day. I got to see the country.”
Next he opened a kiosk in Union Station to sell his pins. One of his repeat clients was Bill Clinton, then a governor.
“He would stop and buy all my Truman buttons,” Warlick said. “All my original stuff in stores was memorabilia. We didn’t sell T-shirts and hats — it all had to be used in a political campaign.”
That turned into more shops in D.C., and others in Boston, Chicago and Baltimore. Now he owns two staples in D.C. and the newly opened ice cream joint.
White House Gifts — not affiliated with the administration — is across from the White House on 15th Street, and the Presidential Gallery is around the corner. Inside are replicas of the Oval Office and the press room, where paying customers can pose for photos.
Warlick’s true love is his traveling Kennedy exhibit. It’s a 15,000-square-foot exhibit complete with Kennedy’s shaving kit, a hair brush he used as a child, one of Jackie Kennedy’s bathing suits, a replica of the Boeing 707 he flew in and the last car he successfully rode in.
“[It] picked him up ... Nov. 21 — it was a private car. The Secret Service borrowed a private limousine for the president to ride in. Can you imagine that today?” he said.
His love for the 35th president has stayed with him since he was a child.
The Kennedy flavor served in Presidential Scoops is birthday cake.
Presidential Scoops is located at 1450 G St. NW. It opened July 27.