- March 22, 2019
DipCo is back and better than ever.
When a fire ravaged the kitchen of Lancaster Dispensing Company, known to locals as “DipCo”, in late 2017, the tightknit, downtown Lancaster community felt the impact. But after 13 long months of renovations, DipCo is back and better than ever. Co-owner Judy Ross recently talked with Heady Times about the renovating process and how the support of the community helped them rebuild.
Heady Times (HT): How & when did you become involved with DipCo?
Judy Ross (JR): I started working here in 1984 as a server and bartender. In 1996, one of the previous owners was leaving and I bought him out.
HT: What was the rebuilding process like after the fire?
JR: It was tough. It was 13 months of work. We had bi-weekly meetings with a team that included our landlord, architect and builders. We wanted to give the restaurant the same feel, while updating things to be ADA compliant.
HT: How did the community help after the fire?
JR: The community was incredibly supportive, both emotionally and financially. Right after the fire, Tellus360 held a fundraiser, not for us, but for our employees. In that one night, we raised almost $40,000 in donations for the employees who were so suddenly put out of work. We had 27 employees at the time of the fire, and 24 of them came back.
HT: Did you do anything special when you reopened?
JR: We thought about it, but we ended up just opening the doors one day. After that, we were packed for a solid three months.
HT: Has anything changed since reopening?
JR: As far as business, no. We made a lot of positive changes in work spaces; the kitchen is bigger, and we have a whole prep area downstairs that has made things a lot easier.
HT: What keeps people coming back to DipCo?
JR: Consistency with our staff and service. We try to treat everyone the way we want to be treated. We’re like a big family. We don’t try to change with trends and things like that, so people feel comfortable coming in here. And our prices are reasonable.