Danielle Edwards, owner of Sweet P’s Handcrafted Ice Pops, purchased the space in 2022 to create a flagship store for her business. Upon realizing her business needed more space, she connected with her neighbors in the Oregon District to find out what they wanted in a new space. Edwards said the loss of 416 Diner left a need for a casual dining option in the neighborhood.
“I reached out to him (Shipp) in the fall to explore a possible collaboration and over the course of several months we agreed to a leasing arrangement for his restaurant, CULTURE by Chef Dane, that will include Sweet P’s Handcrafted Ice Pops,” Edwards said.
She described Shipp as a hardworking, ambitious and kind-hearted chef. She said her brother went to school with Shipp and they have followed him for quite some time.
“Initially I proposed that he would cook there for a couple days a week,” Edwards said. “The more we talked about it, the more we realized this would be a great place for him to create his restaurant and to be there full time. We could also meet our objective of selling popsicles in the Oregon District because he would just simply add it to his menu.”
Shipp told Dayton.com he is planning to cook a wide variety of cuisines.
“I want to have food that people are familiar with just elevated with my touch on it,” Shipp said.
In addition, the restaurant will feature a rotating menu of Sweet P’s Handcrafted Ice Pops’ flavors, including specialty flavors that align with his current menu.
Shipp is a Dayton native who grew up in Jefferson Twp., on the edge of West Dayton. He said he started cooking at 10 or 11 years old by feeding his friends when they hung out. Growing up, Shipp said he never wanted to be a chef because he played basketball, his first love, but after getting injured his senior year of high school he decided to rethink his career path.
He described getting injured as a “blessing in disguise.”
Prior to doing pop-ups, private dinners and catering, Shipp worked for eight years at Chappys Social House where he said he got most of his experience from and the understanding of “kitchen life.” He moved on to work at Lock 27 Brewing for three years. Shipp said that was where his creativity began to come out.
He ended up leaving Lock 27 in June 2020 on his 30th birthday.
“I had no plan,” Shipp said. “I literally quit because it was a feeling I had on my birthday.”
He recalled his first pop-up event days later at Toxic Brew Company in the Oregon District. Shipp said he fed 500 people and there was a line down the street due to coronavirus pandemic protocols. He said that first event gave him confidence in his goal. He went on to cook for Dave Chapelle and his team that summer when the comedian hosted comedy shows in Yellow Springs.
“I’ve had the best time in my career these last few years,” Shipp said. “I’ve been blessed to be able to keep working and doing what I love to do.”
Shipp said he is excited to have a spot in the Oregon District because downtown Dayton is where people first came to seek his food.
At the outset, CULTURE is expected to be open for dinner only Tuesday through Saturday. Shipp said he hopes to expand hours and eventually stay open until 2 a.m. on Fridays and Saturdays and use a walk-up window.
He said the name of the restaurant stems from his team bringing their culture to the Oregon District and the variety of customers he serves.
Shipp is doing a pop-up tonight at Toxic Brew Company starting at 6 p.m. featuring buffalo chicken mac & cheese crunch wraps.
When asked how he comes up with his unique creations, Shipp said all he thinks about is food. He explained that he lets his mind wonder and fuses dishes you don’t typically see together.
“I just like having fun with food,” Shipp said.
Shipp is also planning to open a space inside a market in Yellow Springs. To stay up to date on what Shipp is doing next, visit the chef’s Instagram page.