While some drinks and hospitality businesses are struggling, there is a corner of the industry that is flourishing. Mobile bars are enjoying a boom in popularity, due to their adaptability. They can go almost anywhere, are more cost-effective than hiring an expensive venue and it is even possible to practice social distancing with them – a bonus in these uncertain times.
Sam Heaps is the entrepreneur behind Mrs Sippy, which he affectionately refers to as a ‘tipple truck.’ Mrs Sippy is an iconic 400cc Piaggio Ape (pronounced “Ah-Pay” meaning Busy Bee. Piaggio also makes the famous Vespa which means Wasp), which Sam imported brand new from Italy and had customised in New Zealand to his exacting requirements. It can serve four different drinks at the same time – from Espresso Martinis to craft beer – pumping out 500+ pours per hour.
Along with collaborators Dave Tofts and former All White Andy Barron, Sam launched Mrs Sippy earlier this year and has already worked with brands such as Tui and Canterbury University, as well as attending a number of New Zealand food markets and private events.
According to Sam, there has been a huge amount of interest and enthusiasm in the cute little mobile bar. With summer fast approaching, he puts it down to Kiwis wanting to get back into event planning, but with a little more flexibility and cost-effectiveness than they might find at the larger bars and venues.
“The show must go on, life must continue and that is what we are starting to see in the New Zealand events industry with weddings, parties and other gatherings starting to pick up again,” explains Sam. “With all regions moving back into alert level 1, there is a real sense of optimism. Kiwis are eager to start planning their celebrations and other events again, including for Christmas and New Year’s Eve.”
“Mobile bars are enjoying a surge in popularity as it so easy to plan an event around them,” he adds. “You can park Mrs Sippy up in your back garden, at the beach, or even inside. The options are limitless. The affordability is also proving to be a plus point. For example, lots of younger couples are choosing to save money on their weddings so they can put more funds towards their first house. A tipple truck allows them to reduce bar costs while also having a really cool feature at their special event.”
The Piaggio Ape boasts a 1400-Watt Glycol system to keep the drinks pouring fresh and icy cold. At only 1.5 metres by 2 metres high, it can fit inside most buildings with double door access.
Mrs Sippy has a multipurpose beverage system that can pour Prosecco wine, craft beer, cider or even Espresso Martinis. For the beer lovers, it can hold 4 x 50 Litre kegs. Or if you’re after some non-alcoholic drinks, it can serve options such as Kombucha, Nitro Coffee and Ginger Beer.
It is a ‘blank canvas’ bar hire vehicle, so can attend events as ‘Mrs Sippy’ or it can be customised to feature other types of design and branding. The vehicle can be tailored to look exactly how the customer wants it.
An open display fridge can be fixed into the vehicle as well providing options for cans and bottles.
Mrs Sippy can be leased directly but bar management solutions are also available such as liquor license compliance, stock control and the recruitment of skilled bar and cocktail staff.
Mrs Sippy is owned by Good Oil Events, an Auckland based company that specialises in event and party planning by using fun and effective equipment with a vehicle theme.