There is No More Love at LUV-IT-CUSTARD

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We first noticed something wrong back in the Spring.

“How come my almond chocolate chip tastes like none of those things?” asked a puzzled Food Gal® as we drove back to ELV’s palatial abode.

“Ditto,” we countered. “I asked for extra extra malt in my vanilla shake (as we’ve been doing for 20+ years) and you can barely discern a touch of the stuff.”

“Maybe they were having an off night?” she replied. So were slurped our last bits of cone and malt and left it at that.

A couple of weeks later we returned. Once again, our ice cream was but a tepid semblance of what we had grown to love (this time it was some fruit concoction that displayed none of the stuff, and actual malt ice cream that had to have been made by someone who never tasted the finished product — or wouldn’t know what malt was supposed to taste like if they did).

As we lounged about the seductive love tub at the ELV manse that fateful evening, the Food Gal® queried “Perhaps they changed their recipes or we just got a couple of weak batches?”

“I dunno,” ELV mumbled to himself. “The teenagers are a very, very bad omen.”

We said that because, once again, the place was being staffed by youngsters, and once again, there wasn’t a Tiedemann (the family that founded the little stand in 1973) in sight.

And there my fellow foodies, is the problem.

Over the years (since 1994 specifically), we had gotten used to Greg Tiedemann (pictured above with Desyreé Alberganti) personally waiting on us (and everyone else) every single time we had a hankerin’ for some superior custard. He was always there, every single morning making the custard, and each and every night serving it to us.

Our disappointment and conjecture quickly turned into a theory: √Tiedemann x ∏ + (No Greg ÷ no love) x (3a – y) = zero flavor at Luv-It-Custard.

This theorem was confirmed on our third disappointing trip here….which quickly led to some quick work at the old ELV blackboard….

…which led to….

ELV’s Immutable Tiedemann-Takaya Postulate

…which goes as follows:

When the owner ain’t there, kiss quality goodbye.

Before we explore the roots and proof behind this established truism, we had to uncover one salient mystery:  Where had Greg Tiedemann gone? And why was he no longer at the window every time we got a craving for a malt or a Western Special Sundae?

Turns out, the answer was as simple as 2-1=0.

Yep, he got divorced, and lost the business (the business founded by his grandparents and at the same location for 40 years) to his now ex-wife.

From the look (and taste) of things, all she’s doing is keeping the window open, her costs down, and picking up the cash.

In other words, she’s honoring that time-honored American tradition of cashing in on the labors of others and exploiting a brand for all its worth.

Which is exactly what the Tiedemann’s never did, and what Takaya Zenbayashi at Zen Japanese Curry wouldn’t think of doing.

Because they have pride and passion behind what they do.

And when all you’re in a business for is the money, you never bother making something really good, because all you want it to be is good enough.

If you know what you’re looking for, you can see it (and taste) this devolution when it happens at any eatery….even one as simple as a simple custard stand.

The first thing you notice is the help. It goes from being fully-formed adults to barely-formed adolescents. Real, adult supervision also seems to be lacking. There’s an aimlessness to the body language you observe running the joint. Go to any store in any shopping mall and you’ll see what we mean.

Almost immediately, presentation suffers and eventually, taste. Sure, the owners teach the nimrods the recipes, and they might even supervise them until they get things right. But eventually, like all Americans, those owners want their money for nothing and their chicks for free, and soon enough the inmates are running the asylum.

We recently asked Nectaly Mendoza (owner, operator, head bartender and chief bottle washer at Herbs & Rye) what the secret has been to his success. “You can’t be in it just for the money,” was how he put it. “You’ve got to really care about what you’re doing and hire people who give a shit.”

Mendoza knows most people don’t. Teenagers really don’t. They just want the job. They need the bread. Quality control is up to someone else. Think about that the next time you’re thinking about going to Luv-It-Custard.

Then walk across the street to Art of Flavors…where Desyreé really does.

Like we said: The Tiedemann-Takaya Postulate is immutable.

You could look it up.


1616 Las Vegas Blvd. South #130

Las Vegas, NV 89104


9 thoughts on “There is No More Love at LUV-IT-CUSTARD

  1. Haven’t been to Luvit since AoF opened. He sure could have used a better lawyer. Someone who could have worked on a pro-bono/exchange basis perhaps? Wish we knew someone around here… Getting on Greg’s good side was a right of passage downtown, and his departure was noticed immediately. One question for Greg though, where’s the bluetooth!?

  2. DEVIL TAKE the harpy that took this childhood memory from me… Someone get teidemann’s stuff in a book or something.

  3. That sucks I had 3 close friends that ran that place for over 10 yrs from the mid 80s right into the 90s though they were young when they started they were caring & responsible unlike alot of the youths of today…Iam a business owner and though its not impossible its very hard to find someone who cares about your business,especially if the owner don’t give a rats ass….I hope she sleeps well at night, knowing shes all about the quick buck iam sure next report will be about the doors closing…

  4. …. possibly slightly off topic here, but I really enjoyed the Baseball Almanac
    Casey Stengel quotes. Custard??????? … huh?

  5. My name is Stefanie. I worked at Luv-It for six years. From 1980 until 1986. I worked with Dorothy the original owner and knew
    Greg when he was a young man. I was the first Manager there and had so much pride in the quality of the custard and food (they served amazing sandwiches then). We used to have a line around the building and to this day I can hold 6 double scoop cones in one hand. I love that place and am so fond of it. I want them to keep it up. People love nostalga and great food….

  6. Aha! I KNEW something was wrong with LuvIt. I first noticed something was off almost a year ago (not immediately, but a few months after they got the new equipment and teenagers). It started with everything tasting a little mediocre. Next time my lemon custard tasted like fruitloops instead of lemon, and the time after that everything was just flat out bad and artificial tasting. I gave up. Then, AoF opened and I haven’t even thought about LuvIt since.

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