Skip to content

An Update and Appeal From Dipple Tipple & Co

An update from our founder, Laura Dipple-Johnstone and more information about our Build Back One Crate At A Time appeal:

So many of you have reached out to ask what happened, here’s my story and how you can help.

There was a sorrowful dawn chorus on Saturday as I wept helplessly as my business literally went up in smoke.

Why would a complete stranger willfully destroy another person’s belongings and businesses and how did it spread so quickly? The personal keepsakes, treasured items, house contents, the hard work and ambitions of enterprise – all 650 of us. Was it a vendetta, high jinx, greed, anger…

Who knows? Time will tell. I am safe and thank heavens no-one was injured.

The deep shock, despair, anger, frustration, sadness I have felt.

It’s been an exhausting rollercoaster of emotions. The whole family feels them, they’ve all supported me and invested time, energy and hopes in the business. The business is very much who I am, it’s a reflection of my values. I write this now to help with a strange sort of grief and uncertainty.

Everyone’s first natural question is, “will the insurance cover you?”

I honestly don’t know at this moment. I am just starting on that journey and I’ve learnt, it’s not straightforward.

So, what happened?

Saturday morning I woke up happy and excited. It was looking like it would be a cracking weekend, fine weather forecast, payday banked for most, and my Tippling team eager to return and earn again in the hustle and bustle of our local artisan markets.

Plus, one of our most popular partner brands had been featured on Dragon’s Den that week, so I had enthusiastically booked 9 stalls to celebrate their good fortune.

Thermals and market boots back on, I set off to the warehouse to load up with stock for Uttoxeter that day and our home town Treacle Market the next.

I approached at 5.30am along the back roads of Stanley Green to see a set of flashing lights in the road around the corner, so I followed others and made a U-Turn and approached from the dual carriageway instead.

And there was the sight of an inferno, fire engines surrounding the large storage unit, the home of our Dipple Tipple den. All our stock, equipment including almost 100 wooden crates, gazebos, packaging, all up in flames.

We had only just survived two years of lockdown and then thankfully got back into our happy hour groove with a festive flourish at the wonderful Christmas Markets, but all that success was burning before my eyes.

New Year, renewed confidence, and we were loving our extra space and warmth in an office in the warehouse that was now soon to be a pile of ashes. It felt good to fill in my first office wall planner with a busy schedule of events. 2022 was going to be great. I was re-investing for growth, two big pallets of vintage cordials had just been delivered and the shelves were heaving with tipples, supplies and packaging restocked for online orders to fulfil. But now the chase was over, I should stayed closer to the bank.

Well, it’s back to the kitchen table with laptop, phone, calendar, notepad and pen, super calculator Sara-Jayne on zoom pulling together stock numbers, replacement values and a reel of Tipplers arriving to help. They sort out ‘treasure’ in my dumping cupboard/office of s*** as Di calls it, Wilma searches cupboards for wooden boards to repurpose and Louise ventures into the shed to see what else we can display whilst Grace keeps booking events and Emma counsels. They keep me grounded, their support makes me want to make it a success again for us all, we want to do what we love. I am so grateful to them.

I have been totally overwhelmed with good will. The support and flexibility for stock from the small businesses we showcase, the event organisers rolling forward last weekend’s impossible bookings, sympathetic suppliers working to near impossible timeframes, fellow traders listening, lending and lightening the load and the abundance of well wishes from family, friends, customers and followers.

I take comfort that a business is made up of more than things, they can and will eventually be replaced, the business has not gone up in flames. The value is in our relationships, the team work, resilience, creativity, integrity, customer service and character, and this one’s got spirit.

Lots of people are asking how they can support us, here’s how…

You can cheer us on with likes and shares of the Dipple Tipple & Co page especially when we get the website functioning for sales again and need everyone to know. Or pop by and say hello at any one of our markets, you lift our spirits and we can share ours.

You could help us to ‘Build Back One Crate At A Time’ by purchasing gift cards to fund the rebuilding of our stock of wooden crates we use in all our stalls. With a variety of colours and sized crates, we build bars and shelving structures, transforming them into branded stalls that showcase our exceptionally delicious drinks.

The show must go on – we’ve 2 stands booked at the Eat, Drink Festival at Olympia, London!

Should you choose to click the link below to buy a crate, as a sincere thank you, you will receive a ticket from me for this festival all part of the Ideal Home Show that is running from 11th to 27th March

Laura Dipple-Johnstone Gift Card – Build Back One Crate At A Time