Cocktail company shakes up operations
Matt Francis and Somers Carr, of The Blind Pig Cocktail Company, had a busy summer planned.
Their cocktail catering business was almost fully booked, but the Covid-19 pandemic put the drinks business on ice.
Mr Francis said: “We do a lot of corporate events and weddings this time of year.”
However, all the booked events and parties were cancelled when the island went into lockdown in March.
Mr Francis said: “We are holding up hope. Maybe in October and November there might be some events, but realistically, people will probably be cautious for a while.”
It has taught the company how to adapt and, instead of packing their cocktail shakers away for the duration, they have changed direction and started to offer social-distancing catering packages.
Mr Francis said: “We will bring a full set-up for everything people need to host their gathering such as ice, glassware, bar equipment and so on.”
To allow clients to have the maximum of ten people at an event, The Blind Pig will not include a bartender until people are permitted to have more guests. But all the drinks are pre-mixed so hosts just have to pour them.
Mr Francis said: “We'll set it all up before the event, wearing PPE and disinfecting all equipment beforehand, then after the event we'll come and clear everything away.
“There is no washing or tidying up for people to do.”
Mr Francis said the firm, founded in 2017, started online cocktail-making demonstrations and virtual happy hours after the lockdown was imposed in March.
He added: “Our happy hours have been really popular. People can book us and we will set up a zoom and online format and give people guides on how to build a cocktail with a little bit of history about it. It is something for people to do. That has worked out pretty well. We have been getting a lot of interest and we have done a couple of international ones.
“We had a few people in a company's Bermuda office and people tuning in from Mexico and Germany. It is cool to get some kind of movement going.”
Mr Francis said the virtual cocktail classes and happy hours had attracted up to 50 people.
The firm found that people often spent the first ten to 15 minutes just checking in with one another.
Mr Francis said: “People just want that opportunity to catch up. A lot of people who tune into our classes aren't necessarily drinking.
“A lot of people just enjoy the social interaction and we do too. It feels strange for us not to be going out and meeting people and talking with people.”
One of the classes featured cocktails that used whatever people had in their cupboards.
Mr Francis said: “There are always ways that you can adapt things. Some clients have wanted vegan-friendly cocktails. There are always modifications you can make. It is fun to experiment.”
He added that the pandemic had given them the opportunity to sit down and think about ways that they could improve and expand the business.
Mr Francis said: “We build and design a lot of our own bars and set ups. We have started to build a few new bars. When everything comes back around, we have added a coffee service and a smoothie and juice bar.”
He added that the summer growth season was good for a strong selection of ingredients which were great for cocktails.
Mr Francis said: “Mojitos are great if you can get a hold of mint.”
• For more information, visit Instagram and Facebook under @theblindpigbermuda or theblindpigbermuda.com or call 533-2509 or e-mail drink@blindpigcocktails