Tutts Clump Cider launch Gofundme to save business from closure
An award-winning cider company is seeking public support to continue trading.
Business had been booming for Tutts Clump Cider, created in 2006 by Reading bus driver, Tim Wale.
But lockdown brought trading to a halt — and business has been struggling to stay afloat ever since.
“We were doing fine until the lockdown, then we virtually had no income at all,” said Mr Wale.
“Our online sales did pick up a bit, but nowhere enough to cover our overheads [exceeding £11,000 per month].
“We did get a couple of grants from the government and a bounce bank loan from Barclays, but that still wasn’t enough.”
Mr Wale said he is owed nearly £5,000 in overdue customer invoices — including one worth £800 which still hasn’t been paid since last June.
“People just haven’t got the money, and they’re not paying,” he added.
“Plus we’ve lost several customers because they’ve gone bust.
“I’ve had to withdraw my entire private pension plus my inheritance from the sale of my parent’s house.
“My father died in 2020 but we didn’t sell it till a year later, so I had to use that money as well.”
Mr Wale currently works seven days a week, including bus driving at weekends, to make ends meet. He had only three days off in 2023.
His attempts to refinance his almost brand-new £35,000 apple press have been unsuccessful. Meanwhile, he is facing a climbing £50 daily interest on one loan.
“It’s got to the point now where the banks are getting really itchy and are threatening to pull their loans. So, we’ve had to do something.”
Mr Wale, who runs the company with his two daughters, set up an online fundraiser in a final bid to save his business.
It has already raised more than £6,000.
You can visit https://www.gofundme.com/f/wf8bav-save-our-business to support Mr Wale’s cause.
“It’s gone amazing,” he added. “I’m overwhelmed by the response and am really grateful to people. I didn’t expect that.”