Lancashire bakery chain Dipz Donuts to shut stores due to cost of living crisis

Dipz Donuts will shut the doors to its Leyland and Lancaster stores as the family-run business becomes the latest victim of the cost of living crisis.
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Owner Yusuf Lambat, 44, launched Dipz Donuts in Blackburn 2019 following a trip to the United States, where he discovered a gap in the UK handcrafted artisan doughnut market.

Due to the initial success of the store, he opened two others in Leyland and Lancaster last year.

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But in August, he was forced to close his Blackburn store as the business struggled with spiralling energy bills, staff wages and ingredient prices.

Dipz Donuts opened in Towngate, Leyland in 2021 - but will be shut its doors in early 2022 due the cost of living crisisDipz Donuts opened in Towngate, Leyland in 2021 - but will be shut its doors in early 2022 due the cost of living crisis
Dipz Donuts opened in Towngate, Leyland in 2021 - but will be shut its doors in early 2022 due the cost of living crisis

Now, Yusuf is being forced to shut his Leyland branch in Towngate, as well as his Lancaster shop, as the businessman sees no end in sight to the cost of living crisis.

Both the Leyland and Lancaster shops will shut in the new year, giving Yusuf and his team the chance to celebrate the festive season in the towns first.

Yusuf says the Government is partly to blame for not getting a grip on the cost of living crisis.

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"It's been a very hard decision, but I have to do what's best for my family and for my health," said the dad-of-three.

Owner Yusuf Lambat has opened up about the challenges facing small businesses amid the cost of living crisis. Pic credit: Yusuf LambatOwner Yusuf Lambat has opened up about the challenges facing small businesses amid the cost of living crisis. Pic credit: Yusuf Lambat
Owner Yusuf Lambat has opened up about the challenges facing small businesses amid the cost of living crisis. Pic credit: Yusuf Lambat

"Due to the current situation in the economy with everything on the rise, we just can't afford to sustain our family business.

"We don't want to go into politics, but we can't see anything improving with the current government.

"The country is very unstable at the moment and its frightening. I fear the worse is yet to come.

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"I speak to a lot of small businesses and they all say the same. People are just fed up and I won't be the last to close a business.

Halloween treats on display at Dipz DonutsHalloween treats on display at Dipz Donuts
Halloween treats on display at Dipz Donuts

"Big brands will survive but local small businesses won't in the coming months and global chains will completely take over.”

Yusuf said the business began to struggle with the onset of the pandemic shortly after opening his third store in Towngate, Leyland 15 months ago.

The doughnuts and other treats are hand baked in a unit in Blackburn and delivered fresh to the stores in Leyland and Lancaster every day.

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"We saw the potential in Leyland and wanted to bring something new to the town," he said.

"However, the first year of opening we had Covid and lockdowns, and it was a real struggle in the beginning.

"But, we started to do well, until recently due to the war, cost of living, high energy bills, increase on ingredients, and people just aren't spending, which we understand.

"We just about manage to pay our staff and cover bills and rent. We are not making any profit."

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The business struggles have also had an impact on Yusuf's mental health.

"I'm literally working 24/7 and it's very stressful," he said. "Anxiety kicks in every morning and I am only staying positive because of my three kids."

But he said he hopes he can salvage a future for the business that he has invested time and money in for the past 10 years.

"I have a lot of passion for what I do and I have been in the business for a decade now," he said.

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"We have been doing a lot of artisan markets and farmer markets all over the north west in the last four months, and that has kind of sustained the Blackburn unit.

"We may just concentrate on wholesale, online orders and markets in the new year.

"I want to carry on. It’s my passion and customers like my doughnuts, but times have changed.

"We would like to say a massive thank you for the support people have given us in the last 15 months."