Honorary Unsubscribe

Randy Cassingham’s Honorary Unsubscribe Recognizes the Unknown, the Forgotten and the Often Obscure People who Had an Impact on Our Lives.
These are the people you will wish you had known.

Chipwich inventor

Richard LaMotta

A serial businessman, LaMotta couldn’t figure out what he wanted to do when he grew up. It took him 12 years to get his college degree (in economics, from Brooklyn College), and he had jobs as a video and sound engineer, and later got a law degree. He never practiced law, but went from one business to another, until the 1970s when a friend needed help starting an ice cream parlor. That business eventually failed too, but LaMotta remembered an idea from when he was a child and invented the “Chipwich” — a “sandwich” made from two chocolate chip cookies with ice cream in the middle. After making 25,000 of the treats, he sent 60 street-cart vendors out to sell them on May 1, 1982. Even though they sold for a fairly steep (at the time!) $1, they were all gone in a few hours. Sales quickly ramped up to 40,000 a day. Imitators quickly popped up. “That’s the way it works,” a competitor told a reporter. “One guy comes up with a good idea, and everybody rips him off. It’s the American way.” But that didn’t seem to hurt LaMotta: that summer, sales of the Chipwich were 200,000 a day. By 2002, he had sold a billion of them, and sold out to Canada’s Coolbrands. Eventually, Nestle bought the brand — to shut it down, LaMotta’s daughter says, since it competed too strongly with their own copycat product. LaMotta died May 11 at his home in New York. He was 67.

From This is True for 16 May 2010


Honorary Unsubscribe Books

HU BooksThe Early Writeups from This is True's popular Honorary Unsubscribe feature are now available for your Kindle (or Kindle software for your smartphone, tablet, or computer) as low-cost ebooks.

See details on Volume 1 (covering 1998 through 2000), Volume 2 (2001 through 2003), Volume 3 (2004 through 2006), and Volume 4 (2007 through 2009).

The honorees truly are the people you wish you had known.

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