They say one man’s trash is another man’s treasure, but two creative Cork entrepreneurs have hit the absolute jackpot with their latest project.
Mags Ní Mhaonaigh and Noel Keohane have turned a rusty old horse box into a swish mobile bar, fully loaded to serve drinks almost anywhere.
Former events manager Mags met Noel, a carpenter, last year when they both returned from Australia. Having seen the world, the pair set their sights on coming up with an alternative business plan they could roll out here in Ireland.
Inspiration arrived in the form of a family celebration:
“When Noels sister got married in September 2016 she looked into hiring a prosecco van, but the only ones in Ireland are up the country and when you add on the mileage it was just too expensive.” Mags told Yay Cork.
“This year we have a good few friends getting married and a few of them had mentioned prosecco vans. While on a weekend trip to Amsterdam visiting friends (who are also planning a wedding!) the topic came up again and we decided it was definitely a market that had an opening. We fell in love with the tuk tuk vans that are all over Amsterdam and before the weekend was over we had a draft business plan in place.”
Having found a used trailer on DoneDeal, Noel, who runs a construction company, took care of the carpentry work. The couple did the paint work together and experts from Noel’s construction crew helped out with the electrics and welding.
Even the furniture is hand made – with branded crates, tables and fold-out chairs completing the effect.
“The transformation happened a lot quicker than we expected.” says Mags.
“My sister is getting married on January 26th so having bought the trailer towards the end of November we felt two months was a realistic turnaround. Noels passion for the woodwork however made him become addicted to the project – within five weeks we had close to everything completed.”
Even the logo is bespoke; both Mags and Noel are wine lovers and while opening a bottle one night, Mags noticed that a cork screw would make a great replacement for the ‘T’ in Tipple.
“Noel started doodling and so the base of our logo was made over a very nice glass of Malbec!” she adds.
Inside the trailer, a chalkboard and some industrial style lighting completes the hipster effect, with plenty of built-in storage for glassware and alcohol and a cute fold-out counter for serving from.
And the couple aren’t stopping there; with the Tipsy ready to go, the pair are currently transforming a tuk tuk into a prosecco van designed to serve prosecco on tap. The vehicle will be small enough to fit in the lobby area of a hotel so wedding guests can enjoy all the fun of a prosecco delivery without the rain and wind.
They are also finalising a range of wedding props for hire, including post-boxes for wedding cards and gifts, a seating plan board and directional arrows for helping guests find their way around venues.
There’s even a rather fabulous alternative wedding car in the mix; “While travelling to Mongolia Noel met a guy ‘Big Stu’ from Northern Ireland who organised a charity rally to the four points of Ireland this summer.” explains Mags.
“Being a couple who can’t say no to anything a little different, we dug out an old Fiat 127 and hit the road for a week. While travelling we realised this baby was a perfect alternative for getting the bride to her wedding and classy enough to bring the bride and groom onto their reception. Since the rally, we have completely renovated the Fiat 127 and we’ve just added that to our collection to hire out for weddings.”
The Tipsy just made its first official wedding appearance at the Oriel House in Ballincollig, with another wedding towards the end of the month. Customers can choose what to serve, from chilled prosecco to gin cocktails.
“At the moment we don’t supply the alcohol, the client must provide that themselves.” says Mags. “We are in talks with a few different suppliers to build a package where we can include the drinks.”
For now, The Little Tipple Company’s adorable mobile bar could bring a bit of (reasonably priced) flair to your wedding or event.