Well, this year didn't turn out as planned

I had everything planned down to the set list for the Public Launch Party for my bar for 11th April 2020.

Not sure if you heard, but there’s been a pandemic this year. It’s still ongoing. If you’ve been living in a safe, little cosy hole for the past 6 months, it’s worth googling it and considering on retreating back to said hole.

Obviously, the party was cancelled.

Since you last heard from me...over a year go…I have been continuing to work at the day job, waiting for my first wedding season to begin.

I’ll be honest, I was frustrated that everything felt so close, events were pencilled in and I was about to attend some wedding fairs. Alas, the world had bigger plans and I’ve definitely been incredibly fortunate in this time to still have a day job to turn to. However, that didn’t stop my creativity and my eagerness to get my drinks out to you all.

I toyed with the idea of local deliveries, similar to how pubs have been operating but practically, couldn’t figure out a way to make it work. I toyed with the #CupboardCocktail trend and loved coming up with variations of drinks with the booze we had available...mostly Prosecco based. Somewhere along the line, I came up with the idea of Cocktail Kits...and I have since learnt that actually a few places do it. But I found my niche…my cocktails are inspired by family and friends, come in mostly recyclable and compostable packaging and are easy to make….no fancy bar tools required. Delicious too, if I say so myself.

So, I knew I wanted to make these cocktail kits but I needed to decide which would the first kits to launch. So I dubbed the kitchen, my ‘Cocktail Lab’ and began my research…Perks of the job. This lead to 5 introductory cocktails, some of which were variations of my signatures; Ginger Moo, Eloisa Squeezer & Nana Rose (Signatures) and then the Blue Crusher and Lockdown Latté. Feedback lead to Mocktails also being added to the list, Ma’s Mocktail and a booze free version of the Nana Rose.

My good friend and very talented food stylist, Lee-Ann (see recommendations page for her info) has been a huge support throughout and she pulled all these photos together for me. Her work has been instrumental to me making the products attractive and making my site appear professional to all of yourselves.

The process of getting the license and it’s additional costs has been a learning curve but one I am confident I can tackle when the business eventually moves out of Sussex. I am fully licensed now and operate from my parents home in Worthing, making each cocktail kit to order, whilst still working the day job.

I've been celebrating the small wins every week since opening up the online shop. Whilst there were some downs, there’s mostly been ups;

  • Every sale, especially those from strangers

  • The incredible support from friends (Cesare, my boyfriend, Lee-Ann and Becky H deserve honourable mentions as well as to all my friends who keep buying and sharing and spreading the word)

  • Every mention and share - All of your photos (Highlighted on my Insta)

  • Advertising milestones, especially on the big reveal episode of I Secretly Recorded my Boyfriend, which lead to a flurry of new followers and a few new orders.

  • Collaborations on Instagram - Shout outs to Becky from @travel_foodie1986 and Jamie from @IloveSussex for their continued support.

Moving forward, the cocktail kits will be continuing. I love putting them all together and constantly thinking of ways to improve them, from packaging to glasses to recipes. I'm looking into more sustainable options for some of the glassware too. I launched the ‘Just to say Collection’ for token gestures and have already begun experimenting with my Christmas Collection. But I have not forgotten that all of this started because I wanted to set up as a mobile bar for weddings and events.

Events have evolved in this crazy time and we’re all a little unsure what it will be like going forward. When it’s safer to do so, (Fingerss crossed for 2021) the bar will be available for hire. However, I have also launched Cocktail Dispenser Hire where cocktails can be ordered by the jar load and dropped to your event for Self-Serve. I trialled this for a wedding recently and looking forward to evolving it. It’s perfect for smaller weddings and events where you’re doing everything yourself. I’ve also got a collaborative shoot coming up very soon for the bar with many other talented women within the wedding industry. Will keep you posted on that one...

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