LODI (CBS13) — It’s a hot topic for an ice cream shop in Lodi. A mural outside their store is getting a lot of attention from the public and city leaders.
Everybody loves ice cream for different reasons.
“I grew up liking ice cream because my Dad had an ice cream truck and ever since I fell in love with ice cream,” said Aminda Tyler.
Tyler and her husband own House of Ice Cream on Cherokee Lane in Lodi and another store in Stockton.
“We make all kinds of crazy ice cream flavors,” she said.
They are known for their hot Cheeto, Nutter Butter and honey sriracha. They are also known for this mural that says ‘Eat Me’ painted on their outside wall.
“I was watching Alice in Wonderland and I seen that there was a label on the bottle saying ‘drink me’ and another piece of paper that said ‘eat me,'” said Tyler.
They saw it as a marketing opportunity. Customers stop in and take selfies, then post on social media. Vickie Gonzales thinks it’s clever.
Swipe through pictures from the ice cream shop below.
“Nowadays they say worse things. Back in my day, we said, ‘Where’s the beef?'” Gonzales said.
But the city is not on the same page.
“Yeah they don’t like it…they think it’s bad,” said Tyler.
CBS13 contacted the city of Lodi Planning Department to see what they had to say. They said the sign is not consistent with sign code and House of Ice Cream will have to change it.
The city says it has fielded complaints from families at a school located just across the alley from the “Eat Me” sign. We did our own sampling.
One girl said she wasn’t offended, and she first thought of the Disney movie.
“I don’t see anything offensive at all,” said another woman.
“I don’t want to take it to the trash, but that’s where my mind went,” said John Silver.
Silver finds the ice cream shop sign is not in good taste
“I didn’t feel comfortable with it,” he said.
He knows it’s attention-getting, which is key for small businesses, but there are other ways to capture customers. In the end.. municipal code has the store licked.
“I’m not sure what I’m going to do yet because I’m still in shock. You know, it’s just a mural,” said Tyler.
The city has apparently had this issue before, that’s why it requires businesses to submit applications for their signs to ensure compliance.