A FORMER private caterer from Dorset transformed an old horsebox into a portable coffee shop – and it has become a thriving and popular business.

Katy Davis, 52, from Fifehead Saint Quintin, purchased the horsebox from a friend and spent the months leading up to March 2020 converting it into a space that could be used to sell and make a range of products, from hot drinks and alcohol to homemade sandwiches and cakes.

Bournemouth Echo: Katy in twinkly Tipsy Katy in twinkly Tipsy

Despite officially launching The Tipsy Tow Bar a few days before the first national lockdown last year, Katy has a large customer base across the county.

Katy said: "Tipsy is like a little Tardis – she has hot and cold food, a full bar, cream teas and more.

"The positive response from people has been absolutely huge, Tipsy is in such demand now.

"One event I was catering for had a mobile bar and I thought it was brilliant. I was bored of going to all these shows that just sold carbs and burgers. I love really exciting salads, so I started doing really exciting salads in Tipsy.

Bournemouth Echo: Tipsy, before and afterTipsy, before and after

"I then thought it would be quite fun to do a bar as well. Tipsy is a one-stop shop for me, she is my baby. I had such fun painting Tipsy and my son and husband helped me to put the floor in, it was very much a team effort to renovate her.

"Not long after the first lockdown I started doing coffees at Sherborne Rugby Club who asked me if I could go along and serve drinks and homemade brownies. Then, Tipsy just got bigger and bigger."

Katy and Tipsy were soon invited to be a trader for Pop-Up On The Hill, a space on the top of Grange Hill next to the Isle Of Purbeck Viewpoint for Dorset businesses to set up shop and sell their wares.

Bournemouth Echo: Hot chocolate with cream and marshmallowsHot chocolate with cream and marshmallows

Although Pop-Up has now finished as live firing has resumed at Lulworth, Katy is planning to return.

She said: "Tipsy can turn her hand to anything. From Pop-Up, I got to meet the local brewery and have real local ales and ciders in Tipsy. I also sell Purbeck Ice Cream.

"I like locally produced products.

"Pop-Up has now finished but they are going to put a fence around a small area of the field and I can go anytime I like to continue serving people.

"I will be returning on September 18 and 19 to serve coffee, tea, cream teas, sandwiches and more."

Bournemouth Echo: Cream tea at The Tipsy Tow Bar Cream tea at The Tipsy Tow Bar

Katy also enjoys taking Tipsy to various events around the county and is often hired for weddings and parties.

She said: "People are loving me and Tipsy, especially for the use of the mobile bar at weddings. At the moment, I am really enjoying attending agricultural shows and I recently went to DorsetFest.

"I do a bit of everything, where and what I go to is a real variety.

"I do burgers sometimes as I have a really good grill system at the back of Tipsy. I only use top quality, locally produced meat.

Bournemouth Echo: The Tipsy Roast that was offered during lockdown The Tipsy Roast that was offered during lockdown

"I make freshly cut sandwiches with a range of fillings, such as brie and cranberry. With Pop-Up, people do not know it is there and then they find me and have a smoked salmon sandwich and a glass of Pimms, for example.

"With food, it depends where I am when it comes to what I take and serve. Everything is homemade, my mother is a private cook and I have always done private catering.

"I have always cooked and I have a huge passion for food. I am definitely a feeder.

Bournemouth Echo: Homemade pork pie with Quails eggs scotch eggs and pheasant goujons Homemade pork pie with Quails eggs scotch eggs and pheasant goujons

"My future plans include weddings and parties, then I will be back to Pop-Up later this month. There is lots planned for the future."

To find out more about The Tipsy Tow Bar, visit http://www.thetipsytowbar.co.uk/

To nominate your favourite business for Trader of the Week, email maya.george@bournemouthecho.co.uk