Dippin' Dots doing "coffee dots" after losing millions in patent lawsuit

Posted Monday, May 11, 2009 10:52 AM | Contributed by Jeff

Dippin' Dots is several million dollars in debt after years of lawsuits and countersuits. Jones says although his company has millions of dollars in assets, the bank can foreclose on it at any time. Rivals have successfully sued Jones for filing an invalid patent. The company is about to take a similar colder-than-cold instant-freezing process that makes Dippin' Dots so delectable and redirect that technology to fresh brewed coffee.

Read more and see video from USA Today.

Monday, May 11, 2009 4:26 PM

I dont really care for Dippin Dots, even at IAPPA where they are free. I'm a real lover of ice cream and Dots only remind me of little frozen styrofoam balls. Yes, they eventually melt, but only after they've burnt your tongue. (like you stuck it to the flagpole)

I was amazed to see the price of a cup going for $7.50 at Cedar Point and more amazed to see a line across the midway to get them.

For a couple of years we had a vendor at the Ohio State Fair who was demonstrating a product called Nitro. It was real ice cream made in just a few minutes with nitrogen, they had the whole setup. They offered samples to everyone who walked by- it was dense with very little air, almost like the consistency of frozen custard. They also sold dishes of the stuff and sundaes, which ran about $3.50. All in all it seemed like a much better idea than Dippin Dots, except for the kid appeal of course.

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Monday, May 11, 2009 4:39 PM
Jeff's avatar

I think they're yummy, but the only place I've had them is IAAPA in the last ten years. I won't pay for them for the price at which they're sold.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Monday, May 11, 2009 5:08 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

When I was at KI, it was something ridiculously low compared to what I'm used to at CP - I think it was something like $5 or $6 for a large cup, compared to $8.95 at CP. Still expensive, but better.


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Monday, May 11, 2009 7:10 PM
ridemcoaster's avatar

RP.. Ironcially your Avatar photo goes well with the topic of Ice Cream. I had to chuckle at that.. ;)


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Monday, May 11, 2009 7:46 PM
Raven-Phile's avatar

It's a good thing all ice cream doesn't taste like Beverly. :-D


R.I.P LeRoi Moore 9/7/61 - 8/19/2008
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Monday, May 11, 2009 8:21 PM

I love Dippin' Dots!

I was so happy to find a franchise store right here in Cleveland. Huge cups for $6 or $7 (talking soft drink size cup full). Many more flavors, "cakes", sundaes, etc... Its great!

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Monday, May 11, 2009 10:02 PM
rollergator's avatar

RCMAC said:I dont really care for Dippin Dots, even at IAPPA where they are free. I'm a real lover of ice cream and Dots only remind me of little frozen styrofoam balls.

Agreed on all counts. I've only had them once, free, at IAAPA. Not only wouldn't I pay for them at all, I actually "threw out food" (something my mom was pretty strict about, LOL). My justification was that it really wasn't food but more like nitrogen pellets. What awful stuff, can't understand why anybody would buy it...I certainly don't throw out regular ice cream.

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Monday, May 11, 2009 10:30 PM
Jeff's avatar

Wow, that's harsh! I think they're really tasty, but it's not like gourmet so good you'll wet your pants and pay eight bucks tasty.


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Monday, May 11, 2009 10:50 PM

At Waldameer over the weekend, a small cup ran for something like $2.50 or $3.00.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009 7:07 AM

A while back I noticed a Dippin Dots store here in Columbus, (Hilliard, actually) then the next time I drove by they were closed. I don't think they lasted a season. Of course franchises can close for various reasons, but I have a feeling it was because this one happened to be about 2 blocks away from the DQ! I mean, if you were Mom, Dad, or worse yet Softball Coach, which would you choose for the team? I can just hear it in the car..."Dippin Dots! Dippin Dots!"... "No, we're going to the Dairy Queen, and everyone gets a SMALL cone!...Hear me?..."

To be fair, I don't mind stimulating the economy by occasionally paying gourmet prices for a "wet your pants" treat, especially when ice cream is involved. Case in point, Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream, which now has 5 locations in Columbus. Jeni has developed the absolutely best ice cream ever, the flavors are unique and delicious, and has had write ups in culinary magazines like Bon Appetit. I'm soooo there, and it's so good I don't mind paying 4-5 bucks a scoop. But Dippin Dots? No way.

Next time any of you are driving through, check it out.

http://jenisicecreams.com/index.html

(RCMAC is in no way associated with Jeni's, except as a spoiled, avid customer)

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Tuesday, May 12, 2009 10:54 AM

RCMAC said:


To be fair, I don't mind stimulating the economy by occasionally paying gourmet prices for a "wet your pants" treat, especially when ice cream is involved. Case in point, Jeni's Splendid Ice Cream, which now has 5 locations in Columbus. Jeni has developed the absolutely best ice cream ever, the flavors are unique and delicious, and has had write ups in culinary magazines like Bon Appetit. I'm soooo there, and it's so good I don't mind paying 4-5 bucks a scoop. But Dippin Dots? No way.


Agreed. I don't mind paying more for Nathans hotdogs about once a month at Giant Eagle or Target or maybe a Starbucks Decaf on the trip back from my daughters college, but there's no way I'll buy Dippin dots...


Great Lakes Brewery Patron...

-Mark

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Friday, November 4, 2011 7:50 PM

Sorry to dig up the dead, but didn't feel this warranted its own thread.

The ice cream of the future isn't quite history, but it's close:

http://money.cnn.com/2011/11/04/news/companies/dippin_dots_bankruptcy/?hpt=hp_t2

Filing for Chapter 11 bankruptcy. A spokesman insists the company will remain in business.


My author website: mgrantroberts.com

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Friday, November 4, 2011 10:30 PM
Jeff's avatar

How the hell do you go bankrupt selling ice cream at $6+ a serving?


Jeff - Webmaster/Editor - CoasterBuzz.com - My Blog - Twitter - Video

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Friday, November 4, 2011 10:38 PM
LostKause's avatar

Every time my teenage cousin goes to the mall (weekly or more), he must buy Dippin' Dots... MUST! This has been going on for at least the last seven years since I moved down here.

I am sure other people are buying them too.

So I am with Jeff in my confusion.


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Friday, November 4, 2011 11:34 PM

From what I have seen, they got into an expensive dispute over some of their patents which they lost a few years back. Then the economic slowdown hit which resulted in less demand for $6/cup ice cream. Sales are up this year. But they are in a long running dispute with their senior lender who apparently was currently seeking to foreclose. Bankruptcy was filed to avoid that foreclosure. Company reports its assets are worth $20 million with $12 million of debt.

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Saturday, November 5, 2011 12:09 AM
D_vo's avatar

Jeff said:
How the hell do you go bankrupt selling ice cream at $6+ a serving?

+1 haha. Seems like an extremely profitable business plan to me...


I call Cedar Point my home park even though I live in the Chicago Suburbs.

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Saturday, November 5, 2011 9:13 AM
Jason Hammond's avatar

So that's what the 2nd step is.

1. Get the underpants

2. Sell $6 a cup ice cream

3. Profit

It all makes sense now.


843 Coasters, 34 States, 7 Countries
http://www.rollercoasterfreak.com My YouTube

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Saturday, November 5, 2011 8:17 PM
rollergator's avatar

^Except I don't recall the Underpants Gnomes saying anything about Chpater 11.

Last edited by rollergator, Saturday, November 5, 2011 8:18 PM
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Monday, November 7, 2011 10:12 AM

It looks like this is a technical maneuver. Apparently the company has $20 million in cash and assets, and $11 million in debt, which is really not a terrible situation to be in. The terrible part is that the bank has called the loan, which basically puts the company into a position of having to exhaust its operating capital to retire the loan. Declaring bankruptcy allows them to continue to use the operating capital to fund operations and makes the bank wait.

I understand the company's action in this case; I don't understand why the bank is effectively forcing the bankruptcy here, which has the likely effect of reducing their return on the loan. But then, does anything that any bank has done in the past five years actually make any logical sense?

--Dave Althoff, Jr.


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