MEADS Tracy Vipperman was already without her “right-hand person” when she suffered the first of four heart attacks.
Just a little more than a month separated from a terrifying week, Vipperman is back where she belongs — behind the counter at her sweets shop on U.S. 60.
Double Drizzle is celebrating its fifth anniversary today. Vipperman is amazed at the journey she and co-owner Stacy Roberts have experienced.
“I had no clue when I opened this shop what was going to happen,” Vipperman said. “I knew if I didn’t try, I was going to fail.”
In its first year, Double Drizzle baked more than a million cupcakes, including several that were donated. It’s not just a cupcake spot, she reminded. The store features melting chocolates, cakes, pastries, cookies, cream horns, donuts, cheesecakes and more.
Roberts hasn’t been able to help Vipperman since late October. Brian Roberts, Stacy’s husband, was seriously injured in an accident at Special Metals in Huntington. Steel crushed his legs and pelvis. He’s had multiple surgeries and will have more.
“He requires help with everything right now,” Vipperman said, so Stacy Roberts is devoted to that full-time duty. Double Drizzle has conducted fundraisers for Brian Roberts.
Just a week after Brian Roberts sustained those injuries, Vipperman had a heart attack.
“It just hit me like a ton of bricks; it felt like cinder blocks on my chest and I couldn’t breathe,” Vipperman said.
She was discharged from the hospital two days later. That evening, she had a second heart attack. Three days later, she suffered two back to back.
Doctors determined rheumatoid arthritis as the cause of the coronary failures. She’d never experienced any previous heart trouble.
Vipperman returned to the shop within two weeks.
“I kept thinking, I gotta get back to work,” she said.
Vipperman called the ordeal “very scary.” She already had one health issue to regularly address. She has too much spinal fluid on her brain and must have the fluid drained every three months.
Taya Vipperman, the second of three children to Tim and Tracy, has been assisting her mother. The 11-year-old comes in every morning at 4:30 before school to help open the store.
Double Drizzle’s hours are 8 a.m. to 5 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
The store has received a number of accolades. In May, Kentucky Monthly Magazine rated Double Drizzle’s banana split cupcake the best cupcake in the Commonwealth.
On Saturday, to celebrate five years, Double Drizzle will have random drawings and giveaways. Customers who place their Christmas orders by Saturday will be entered into a drawing for a $25 gift certificate.
“When we started this, it was all for my kids,” Vipperman said. “I was always backward and quiet. This was totally out of my comfort zone. I wanted them to see what can be accomplished. ... I love this shop. I’ve met a lot of friends through this shop.”
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