Tony Segale’s Double Dip Gallery is in no way a typical art gallery. Instead, here you will find anything from delicious ice cream to beautiful art works to appreciate.
In 2012 Segale, local artist and founder of Double Dip Gallery and a partner, Mardie Driftmier opened up an art gallery in Walnut Grove. It was there Segale noticed people lining up for ice cream a few doors down and then stopping by his location.
“I’d say, ‘Come on in’ they’d say ‘No we have ice cream’ and I’d say ‘who made that a rule, I’m eating it in here,’” said Segale.
It was then Segale decided that as soon as a space was available closer to home he would jump on the opportunity of opening his own business combining art and ice cream.
Segale opened the Double Dip Gallery, located at 222 W. Pine Street in Lodi, in January 2014.
Now visitors can find about 16 regular ice cream flavors, plus eight flavors from the “secret stash” and a flavor of the month. The September flavor is horchata.
Throughout the years Segale has hosted art exhibitions, exhibiting his own art as well as the work of other featured artists at Double Dip.
“Usually throughout the year I have three different featured artists, but most of the time it’s mainly my art,” said Segale.
Apart from finding ice cream, art and exhibitions customers can also take part in a variety of art classes and workshops.
“It could be a beginning watercolor or abstract watercolor or something more focused in watercolor and I’ve also taught brush lettering just like sign painting or calligraphy with a brush and drawing and sketching,” Segale said. While classes are in session the ice cream shop stays open for business.
Since March 2020 many things have had to change at Double Dip Gallery due to COVID-19. Some changes include no more exhibitions or art classes hosted for safety purposes.
“The biggest thing I had to do was lay all my staff off … I shifted my hours to 3 to 7 only, instead of 11 to 8 and 11 to 9 in the summer … after July 4, I started closing Tuesdays and Wednesdays just to give me some time off,” said Segale of the changes.
Segale has adapted his business to find new ways to keep it afloat. “I immediately set up online order … and that’s what really kind of saved the place,” he said.
Between scooping ice cream and looking after the gallery Segale has remained passionate about his other business.
“I am a full-time painter, so I do hand lettering, gold leaf work behind glass, large murals and then the fine art work the watercolors and acrylics,” said Segale, though he said he hasn’t had as much time to paint since March.
Two years ago Segale began to contemplate the idea of selling Double Dip due to the little time in the studio he had.
“So when the pandemic hit and it made me a full time scooper I realized I’m not waiting anymore it’s for sale,” he said, recalling his internal conversation.
An offer came through before August 25, the date Segale planned to close up shop if no offer was made. The person making the offer wanted to keep everything as it is. So Segale will continue to exhibit Therefore the new owner of Double Dip will be taking over the business on Sept. 10.
Visit doubledipgallery.com for online ordering, gallery information and updates.