[Spotlight] Lill Dipper and Tin Can
By: Delaney Geraghty
Located at 308 N. Patterson Ave. in Winston-Salem, Lill Dipper ice cream does things a little differently. Opened in May 2019, this window-service dessert hotspot offers only one soft-serve flavor: vanilla. But what Lill Dipper may lack in flavors, it more than makes up for in ice cream adornments.
“We have about 10, at any given moment, about 10 different dips, from lemon to blue raspberry, to coconut, to cherry, to cotton candy, to coffee,” said Joseph Bradford, one of the owners of the operation. “And then we have about 20 different toppings.”
The toppings include traditional choices such as Oreo or Heath Bar candy pieces, but also some more obscure options, such as pretzels and even French fries.
And ice cream isn’t the only sweet treat available. Recently, the shop rolled out a whole new array of customizable desserts, such as chocolate-covered strawberries on a stick, frozen bananas and pretzel rods dipped in chocolate.
“As the weather changes, we’ll have hot chocolates and white chocolates, with whipped cream and chocolate shavings on top. You know, we’ll have cider,” Bradford said, speaking to how the shop’s offerings change with the seasons and will continue to do so. “Every year we have a little pumpkin patch outside and then we kind of morph into a little mini Christmas tree farm. So yeah, we really kind of have fun.”
Bradford noted how Lill Dipper is attracting a high number of families, not just from Winston-Salem, but from all around the Triad and beyond, including Greensboro, Lewisville and Yanceyville.
The shop is located in an area where the demographic is mostly middle-aged adults who live and work downtown and in the Innovation Quarter. Bradford said since Lill Dipper opened on Memorial Day weekend, many more families with children have found their way to the neighborhood.
“You used to not get a lot of little kids and families coming down on the block,” Bradford said. “But now there’s just a really fabulous array of children running around the block, eating ice cream and playing.”
Bradford and his partners, Rachel McKenzie and John Bryan, are remodeling their other business venture, the Tin Can, which is set to reopen on Oct. 10. Located right next door to Lill Dipper, Bradford said the Tin Can is a specialty drink shop offering a diverse and unique range of products.
“We carry an eclectic array of affordable wines, really world wines,” he said, noting that some hail from France, Italy, Spain and Argentina.
The store also carries beer, kombucha and snacks, and even has an off-premise license, meaning customers are free to buy drinks and sit outside to enjoy them.
“I just love interacting with the community,” said Bradford of his favorite part of running these businesses. “To meet the people who live around you and work around you and create relationships.”
“I’m excited about the success of the businesses right now and the future for both shops,” he added.
Lill Dipper’s fall hours will be Thursday and Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday and Sunday from noon to 9 p.m. Once the Tin Can reopens, its hours will be Wednesday-Friday from 5 to 9 p.m. and Saturday from 2 to 9 p.m.