Has it only been 4 months since I last wrote a blog?
The last 4 months have been awesome!! Who would have thought that during the pandemic we would be in such a good place. The last 4 months have given me the opportunity to learn new things, grow the business and diversify with what we offer.
In the last blog I wrote about our online Gin Tasting events, these have been fantastic. I've met so many new customers/friends through offering this, its been great not only for the business but for me working at home most of the time. The Gin Tasting has led to more business opportunities, learning more about the Gin industry and having great fun at the same time. Why did I wait so long to start my own business?
So here's what's been happening..
Ive got myself a market stall. I absolutely love it. Every weekend my stall is open at The Corporation Yard selling this years award winning Welsh Gins and Rums. I am working amongst some really super talented people. The other stall holders are all independent traders who bring something different to our customers. The market runs from 10-3 Saturday and Sunday, then in the evening it's over to the 'food traders'. I have met the most amazing people, some that have been in business for years, some that have just graduated and have taken the leap of independence straight away. The atmosphere is great, everyone loves being outdoors. The environment is super safe and enjoyed by all that attend. If you want to meet my fellow traders just pop along to the market. For the latest info on opening ....(only writing this as there's a chance of another lockdown) look on my social media or @indiesuperstore to check if its open. Follow the socials and you will get to see who my amazing 'market mates' are. I am determined that every Christmas gift I buy this year will be bought from my 'market mates'.
This leads me on to Christmas.
For Christmas I am offering lots of 'boxes' for people to enjoy at home. The boxes can be pre-ordered online or at the market. The boxes can then be collected/delivered/posted out before Christmas.
Our market has been so popular we are on the move. From October 30th the market will be in 'Ponty' every Friday. We are hoping the success from Canton continues in RCT. Come along and say hello if you are in the area.
So the market has kept me busy, the online Gin Tastings have continued and the development of new cocktails and drinks for our Christmas Boxes have been finalised. So, what else do we do? We continue to develop the brand.
You may be wondering what I am talking, read on.....
When I first started the business the idea was to own and run a mobile Gin bar, introducing Gins to the masses at various events. It soon became obvious to me that yes I had a great looking Gin Bar but what was glaringly obvious was that I had was an amazing bar that worked at lots of styles of events.
During the first year I found that the majority of our bookings were actually for a full bar service and not just gin. Whilst for the larger events we were a designated Gin Bar for many private's events we were a full bar service offering all drinks. Following some research I found out that having Gin in the title really was a double edged sword. We won lots of business because we were Gin specialists but also people felt that they couldn't book the bar because we only offered Gin. We had to change this to reflect all that we offered. Having built both our extensive knowledge and coveted award as a gin bar it was very important that we maintained The Gin Tin Bar.
In February I collected a new bar - The Drinks Tin, the name was used to reflect the situation written above. Our new bar really could offer almost any drinks. By having The Drinks Tin we were now able to offer a cocktail bar, a mixed service for any occasion. It also allowed us to offer a dry hire bar. I could rent out a bar for someone else to use. This offered another stream of income for the business.
In March, just before lockdown I attended an amazing network event where I was able to talk to many event organisers and it became apparent the idea of a pop up bar at their places of work was a popular option. Again another new area of the business to develop.
The next few months look really exciting, we have amazing imaged of the photoshoot to release soon, we have a few 'irons in the fire' with some new bar set ups, possibly having a resident bar next year, watch this space!
With so many potential avenues for the business I need a name to reflect all that we offer:
Private Hire Bars
Gin Tasting Events
No longer did I feel The Gin Tin Bar was the name for it.
Massive thank you to my friends who were drawn in at this point, we spent hours contemplating names and what they signify. Over the last couple of months I have spent hours, researching branding, logos, brand identity, naming a brand, brand longevity.... I've consulted and worked with brand professionals, illustrators, graphic designers to get my head straight. A huge thank you for your input too. It came down to every bar is distinctive, therefore the name Bars of Distinction. That is what we are.
Believe me this is the shortened version of 8 months work...
So moving forward we will still have The Gin Tin Bar, it is a Bar of Distinction. The same will apply to our other bars, they are all Bars of Distinction. There are some changes afoot with regards to documentation and website, these will all happen shortly. All of our wonderful clients that have booked the bars for the next two years have all been made aware of these changes.
On Monday we finally were able to have our 'new' bar in a photoshoot, the new brand name needed to be linked to that shoot. Over the next few months you will see more of the branding coming through with the new website and logos etc. For now, please continue to support the business and follow both the new and existing social media accounts:
@thegintinbar and @barsof distinction
Phew, you've read it all. Thanks for sticking with it!!
It's been a crazy few months but again I write, who would have though that 7 months into a pandemic the business is flourishing, its moving forward in new areas but most of all its being driven by someone that wakes up every morning smiling with excitement about the future.
Stay Safe Everyone
HUGE thank you to our newsletter subscribers for ordering our new product. There are more left if you haven't ordered as yet...
Today we launch our Tasting Box for our social media for general sale. So far, the response has been amazing and certainly indicating that we need to start getting our next one ready... for those that haven't ordered as yet please drop me an email of send us a message on FB or Insta and we can get it sorted asap. The Gins in the box are amazing!
We will be busy!
Sadly may of our couples have had to postpone their weddings to next year, luckily so far we've had no venue changes our couples have been lucky enough to change the date but keep their dream alive. It will happen peeps.....
Also this month, you may have seen it...we had our first TV advert! Thanks to Cardiff TV supporting local businesses we were able to promote our bars for the entire month of June. 20 seconds of The Gin Tin Bars, luckily for us we were able to have the amazing Nerys Hurford voice for the advert. Nerys Hurford Translation Services has been immensely busy throughout lockdown but still had the time to support our business and do our voice over. The voice is amazing!
We have been busy in the office, promoting our new bar without images, that's easy - not! We have many companies interested in using the dry hire for their own events or promoting their own produce. Im really pleased the bar has been welcomed by so many people. It was bought to help others try a mobile unit and thankfully its been popular. Over the last couple of weeks we have reviewed our terms and conditions, created a corporate brochure and started working on a new project - The Tasting Box!
Sadly our Gin Tasting evenings haven't been able to go ahead. Many of our regulars have been asking for recommendations of new gins, therefore working with some of the 2020 award winning distillers in Wales we are able to offer a variety of Gin Tasting Boxes. With many people being keen to #supportlocal and #smallbusinesslove we've decided to help and support local distillers and help promote their Gins. We have had great fun tasting some new gins and now want to share these amazing drinks with you! We really do have some amazing gins, one I have described as drinking velvet. The boxes will be available within the next two weeks. Our first box is very much a trial, we will take feedback on the boxes before we launch further boxes. Please keep an eye on our social media for the release date. There will be a free box available for some lucky person. If you want to be one of the first to know about the boxes sign up to our newsletter, you will be the first to know our news and will be able to buy special bonus gin as a subscriber.
So Gin Tasting Boxes at the ready, a busy diary for next year, what do we do...we buy a new bar! Yes that's right, we continue to make progress and place an order for a new handmade wooden indoor/outdoor bar. The new bar will be able to be decorated to suit any taste. Ive been wanting this additional bar for some time, Ive found an amazing craftsmen to build it for us.
Sadly, this summer hasn't gone as planned, we've missed out on some amazing events, luckily all of our weddings will continue to go ahead net year and we as a business are continuing to make progress. I love working alongside my development plan! We still have dates available for next year, all bars have availability so if you or someone you know is looking for a bar, Gin and Everything please get in touch. I can assure you that we will continue to follow government guidelines and whatever we need to put in place for public safety we will be doing.
Look forward to seeing you all soon.
Of course we are taking part in 'GIN a Day May 2020. A full list of our recommended Gins will be published here at the end of May. To follow our recommendations daily visit us @thegintinbar
We absolutely love being at weddings. Both of our bars look gorgeous at a wedding venue and every time we take them out people comment on how wonderful they look. So, why wouldn't you want us at your wedding?
Below we have highlighted some of what we think our important features for our weddings are. We are totally flexible!. If your venue hasn't worked with us before we are more than happy to speak with them and come to an arrangement for us to be there. We work with a number of wedding venues to offer our bars. Just let us know if there is an issue with your venue.
Unfortunately due to Covid- 19 we will not be attending as many of the weddings as we should be for the year, many of our wonderful couples have had to postpone for next year. Hopefully we will be able to continue with some of the bookings and offer some relief after this difficult time. Please contact us early if you are looking at next year, dates are changing daily.
Every couple we speak to have different plans, we love it! We get so inspired from your plans to tailor our service just for you. We are flexible, speak with us and see how we can help you have the most amazing day ever!
Why shouldn't we? We have been lucky enough to work with some amazing distillers over the last year and built up really good positive relationships. We are now extending our services and offering customers 'Gin Tours of Wales'. We can offer anything from a 2-3 hour tour to an overnight stay visiting some amazing distilleries and seeing some breathtaking views along the way. All of our tours are customised to each party so we really can offer something unique to you. If you would like us to include some other alcohol tours in your visit please let us know. We have some amazing breweries in the area nd they would love to show off their goods too. Below we have included some examples for you but please get in touch to find out what we can offer you. Corporate clients are more than welcome!
Here is a list of FAQs we receive. If you have any others please let us know.
Can our guests pay by card?
Yes. We have card payment facilities, providing we can access WIFI at the venue or 3g signal we will be able to take card payments.
Do you offer a 'free bar' facilities?
Yes. We can offer a 'free bar' for the entire duration or just for a set amount of time, that's entirely up to you and how much you would like to spend. The price depends on what drinks you want us to serve. Champagne is more expensive than beer!
Can we have Cocktails?
Definitely! We are not mixologists, but we can serve cocktails. We offer a customised menu to wedding couples. These drinks can be served all day or just for a set time. It’s up to you to decide what you would like us to offer.
Can you provide welcome drinks?
Yes, we can. Please let us know what you would like, and we will happily provide a quote for you.
Do you offer 'Mocktails'?
We can provide a variety of Mocktails for your day. We can provide these as large jugs for refreshments for all or by the glass on the bar.
Do you offer Children’s Activities?
But we can recommend a company that does.
Do you have the most amazing staff?
Without a doubt!! They are awesome!
Are you insured?
We certainly are. All of our vehicles are fully insured, and we have Public Liability Insurance up to £10million.
Are your bars clean?
They are. We have been inspected and our bars have been given a 5-star hygiene rating.
Do you need power or water?
We will need an electric hook up. A normal plug socket will be fine. We will come with an extension cable to help us access the socket.
We will not need continuous water although it would be handy if we can access a water supply before we start service. This will save us carrying the water.
Do you wear a uniform?
At all times our staff are smartly dressed in their shirt, tie and apron whilst serving drinks. Please note when we are setting up the bar, we will wear different clothes as we can get dirty. We will change before we serve you and your guests.
Do you provide an alcohol licence?
The owner is personal and premises licence holder. If the venue doesn't have a premise license, we can apply for a Temporary Event Notice (the licence needed to serve alcohol) for £21 on your behalf.
For me, its either when I have the time of when I feel I need to share information.
Today, its to tell the world how amazing our month has been!
It was only a month ago I updated the blog from prior to the summer. We had a brilliant summer and enjoyed getting out and meeting lots of new clients and colleagues. Over the winter we've been working hard to develop our relationships and turn them into business. This month we have certainly reaped our rewards.
Back in February I received an email into my junk folder the name really made me look twice. As everyone knows you can't be too careful with phishing emails so I proceeded with caution. The following day I contacted the number I found on google and researched whether the email was genuine. It was, I had been contacted by British Vogue and was being asked if I wanted to advertise The Gin Tin Bar in their Bridal Advertorial. I was absolutely over the moon that such a prestigious magazine would allow me the space to promote my business. Bloody amazing!! And then the head kicked in...whilst my heart 100% wanted to go into the magazine the high costs would have a big impact on the business. Not only would it hit me financially, I had to consider what the advert would bring. After a great deal of thought and discussion I declined the offer, it came down to the question...'Do I really want to be towing the bar all over the UK every weekend?' The answer is No. Luckily the business is developing locally and therefore don't feel that a nationwide advert is appropriate for my business AT THIS TIME. Watch this space.....It was a tough decision but delighted to have been asked.
Whilst the above decision was being pondered I was arranging my first wedding advert in 'Tiara Magazine' we have an advert and an additional piece in the current magazine, please take a look. We are in both the front and online version. I was lucky to have great guidance by the editor Tracey to ensure the correct information was shared. Please head over to www.tiaramagazine.co.uk to take a look. Its great seeing your business in such a high quality magazine.
Two weeks ago G and I headed up to Liverpool to pick up the new bar, ooh she is so cute! The Drinks Tin, is smaller than the main bar, she is just 4m in length and is available for dry hire. It was so light towing an empty bar... The Drinks Tin has had a deep clean and is now awaiting her photo shoot. The debut appearance is next month at Tall John's House. A new bar means a new uniform. The Drinks Tin staff will wear black aprons with a grey tie. The staff will continue to be as professional and smart as they always have been. I cant wait to show her off!
So what an amazing month? As we are approaching the end of our 11month in business and I'm reflecting on how much progress we have made and how pleased I am of our future bookings I am gleaming with pride of the success so far. The idea of the business has blossomed, it's a business that people want and it seems from our reviews that we are quite good at it. Fantastic, let's start setting further goals for this year!
And then whilst casually checking my FB I saw I had been tagged in a post. Luckily I was with a friend who confirmed what I read. The Gin Tin Bar had been named a finalist for the Gin Bar of the year by The Welsh Bar and Pub Awards. Shock!!! Absolutely flabbergasted! I really couldn't believe that my bar was being considered in the same category as some of the most fantastic, established Gin Bars that I know. For those of you that live in South Wales you will know how fantastic some of the bars are... I really couldn't believe it. When I contacted the organisers it seemed that yet again they had emailed me and it had gone into my junk folder and I had dismissed the email. I will know thoroughly check my Junk folder!!
So next month the winner is announced, ironically I am out with the bar the day of the awards ceremony. I truly feel humble to have been named a finalist within this category, for me our business has already won this year, it truly has been the most amazing end to the first year of The Gin Tin Bar. Who knows where we will be this time next year....but between now and then I will definitely be checking my junk folder.....