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A Look Back

A Look Back

The Chipwich ice cream sandwich Credit: Crave Better Foods, LLC

The Chipwich. Credit: Crave Better Foods, LLC

Entrepreneur Richard LaMotta parlayed a favorite childhood snack into a popular frozen dessert.

The story of Richard LaMotta ’69 can be best captured in his crowning achievement: the invention of the Chipwich.

LaMotta graduated with a bachelor’s degree in economics by taking night classes. After graduation, he worked in a series of businesses, each with varying success, and earned a law degree from New York Law School that he never ended up putting into practice.

It was in the late 1970s that a friend reached out to LaMotta to partner with Sweet Tooth, an ice cream parlor in Englewood, New Jersey. Inspired to create a frozen dessert, he turned to one of his childhood loves—milk and cookies. LaMotta experimented at the parlor and in the basement of his father’s Brooklyn apartment, putting together and testing several prototypes until the Chipwich was born.

The Chipwich was introduced to the world on May 1, 1982. LaMotta rolled out an unusual guerrilla marketing campaign to advertise it—he dispatched 60 pushcart vendors to walk the streets of Manhattan selling the new product. Within hours, all 25,000 Chipwiches made for the day had been bought and consumed. The success continued; by the time LaMotta sold his company in 2002, over a billion Chipwiches had been sold.

Though LaMotta passed away in 2010, his legacy remains. The Chipwich continues to capture the hearts and tastebuds of ice cream cookie lovers the world over. So we end this issue in celebration of an alumnus who embodied the values we cultivate in our students today: entrepreneurship, innovation, and the insight to seek success in unexpected places.

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