Ashley Tipper, owner of The Blind Elephant, partnered with longtime bar manager Cabell Bryan to launch Vagabond Spirits Mobile Bar, specializing in customizable curbside cocktails for private events.
Tipper embarked on this offshoot of The Blind Elephant last November when she purchased a camper to refurbish as a mobile bar. Tipper said she had a surplus of income from last year which she wanted to reinvest back into the business. The process of refurbishing the camper ended up taking months longer than expected, but it is now up and running and the team is currently booking dates through the holidays and beyond.
“We’re very grateful to have had this in place,” Tipper said. “It wasn’t intended to be a back-up plan, but once the bar reopens we’ll have the two businesses as originally planned.”
As for partnering with Bryan, Tipper said Bryan has helped her build The Blind Elephant from day one and it made perfect sense to partner with her on this new venture.
“She’s a hard worker, we trust each other and care about each other,” Tipper said. “It was a no brainer.”
Tipper and Bryan are hopeful that once both businesses are open, they will be able to make up for the lost income that has resulted from the bar having been closed since mid-March.
Tipper said she took out a loan to help cover her rent, but is discouraged about making payments each month on a business she can’t operate successfully under the current restrictions.
“It’s the first time I’ve had to take out a loan and it’s frightening because I’m going to have to pay it off no matter what the future circumstances may be,” Tipper said.
While Tipper and Bryan are saddened and frustrated by the bar’s prolonged closure, they are using the time to focus on getting Vagabond Spirits up and running successfully. Their goal is to provide a fully customizable experience for each event – from the drink menu to the decoration of the camper.
The team works to get a sense of what each client is looking for in terms of flavor profiles and then meets with them to conduct tastings and really hone in on making sure the menu is exactly what they’re looking for.
“So far everyone has really been delighted and customers have enjoyed the experience of working with us,” Tipper said.
Anyone wishing to get a quote for an event can do so at the Vagabond Spirits website: https://vagabond-spirits.com/