Your 30A Wedding Mobile Bar: Tap The Coast
Before we get into why Tap The Coast is the perfect 30A wedding Mobile Bar for your big day, I wanted to point out something that I’ve noticed. The experience of planning their own wedding has a way of providing a wedding professional with unique insight. This experience is something that they can use to help couples that they work within their own business. That experience could also inspire someone to start their own because you’ve witnessed a need firsthand. This was Nicole W. Clark’s experience in the blog, Your 30A Wedding Cake Topper. Dannon Hooks, from Tap The Coast, recently had a similar experience as well.
She was my TENTH guest on Make Your Wedding a Highlight. Tap The Coast, a full-service mobile bar and beverage service company is such a great concept that I wanted to find out more about what inspired the idea and how the company came to be.
Dannon Hooks: Chris and I got married a year and a half ago. As I was planning our wedding, I spent a ridiculous amount of time on Pinterest: scrolling, liking, and pinning as a lot of brides still do. One day, while on Pinterest I came across my first mobile bar. It was a company out in California that had this adorable, little camper. I thought “Well, gosh. How cute is that? I would love to have it at our wedding!” Unfortunately, I couldn’t find a company in the local area that provided that as a service.
The Start of Tap The Coast
I showed the picture to my husband, Chris, and he said “Uh, I can build that.” I now jokingly say that those are probably words that he regrets because of all the work that’s been put in building the bars we have now. But it’s been so rewarding to watch everything come together. I had a camper with a very specific style and shape in my mind that I knew I wanted. When we were deciding on whether or not to go for it, we found the camper that we have on Facebook Marketplace that was for sale in a town called Jay. We drove to where Jay is in the north part of the county and checked it out. It was this super cool retro teal color on the outside and that 70s vintage feel of it on the inside. It was truly a gem.
To be honest, we debated for a minute about whether we wanted to just take everything out and totally renovate it or if we would rather keep it to go camping in. It was that cool. Everything on the inside and outside was original to when it was made in 1975. It had also been kept in a barn since the 80s, so it was in pristine condition. We couldn’t believe how lucky we are. We decided, “Let’s do it!” and got started renovating the camper. That was our first bar. That was how we got started.
The Surprises of Starting a 30A Wedding Mobile Bar
DJ Josh: Were there any surprises as you were developing not only the idea but also creating the bars?
Dannon: Surprises? You know, it really took a lot of time researching and understanding the laws. There’s a lot of legalities around selling and serving the alcohol. Luckily, I found a community of other mobile bar owners that I could connect with. There were even some out of the Jacksonville, Tampa, Orlando areas that provided us with great support. They helped us navigate the startup process.
Since we were renovating a vintage camper, we expected to find some surprises like leaks and rotten wood. There was also the challenge of finding parts and pieces for something that’s 34 years old. But, overall, I have to say it was a pretty smooth process. It went smoother than you would expect a renovation to go.
DJ Josh: That’s great! Oftentimes renovations end up having a lot of hang-ups and big surprises. How many bars do you currently have?
Dannon: Well, we, of course, have the camper. We just recently debuted our newest travel bar, the horse trailer. We also have what we call the Tap Wall which is more for indoor or smaller events. And then we have our whiskey barrels that have taps on them that can also be used as a table. We definitely have plans to add a few more to the fleet and round out some things later in 2020.
Dannon Pre-TTC (Tap The Coast)
DJ Josh: So, since you just recently founded Tap The Coast last November, what was Dannon Hooks up to prior to that?
Dannon: It’s funny because my husband and I had been talking for some time about when the right time for me to leave the 8 to 5 was. I was personally invested in the mission of the organization I was working for. I had been there for 7 years, and I truly loved the work we were doing. However, I was the only staff person here locally, so there really wasn’t an opportunity for me to move up in that organization.
Even before Tap The Coast was an idea, we were already talking about looking for something different. I really wanted an opportunity to grow and get new skills. So, we decided once we started Tap The Coast that if it presented an opportunity for me to exit we would take advantage of it. Well, we made that decision in late February, early March. Looking back, I can’t help but think, “That was certainly a different time. Wasn’t it?”
DJ Josh: It really was. It feels like forever ago.
The Timing (and Opportunity) of COVID-19
Dannon: Whenever we launched in November, we thought we might have a couple of Christmas or holiday parties here and there to get our feet wet with the plan of hitting the ground running in January.
But, once word got out about what we do, the response had been fantastic. I gave my two week’s notice in early March. Then, the next week things started shutting down. It was crazy. I had an immediate feeling of regret. Because Tap The Coast is so involved with and revolves around weddings and events that were being postponed or canceled, it was a pretty stressful time.
But the bright side of that experience is because we’ve been able to get through it, we’re better for it. Now, we’re really ready to be a part of events again. We are set up to take the necessary and required precautions to make sure that things are sanitized and cleaned really well. That allows us to provide an even higher level of service, focus on what it is that we do, and do it well.
How Being a Newlywed Impacts the Tap The Coast Client Experience
DJ Josh: Because you’re still a fairly newlywed, how have you been able to take that experience and incorporate it into Tap The Coast?
Dannon: I try to keep in mind how stressful planning my wedding was and use that as a guide. It helps me to find ways that I can relieve stress for the bride and groom. That’s how we can really support them the most. I want to be remembered as being the most fun vendor at each couple’s wedding. That’s awesome. That’s what I strive to be.
Of course, everybody’s going to have a great time but we get to provide our expertise in making sure the couple has enough to provide for their guests. The more I can take on for them to help relieve that stress and just make sure that the overall process is smooth and fun. That’s what I pride myself in offering to each of my clients.
Closing Thoughts and Where To Reach Out to Book Tap The Coast
I think any wedding professional can attest to that being their ultimate goal. They ask, “How can my company allow the soon-to-be newlyweds to enjoy their day and allow them and their guests to just focus on celebrating the love they have and the life they will share together?” When you think about it, that’s what everyone hopes for when they envision their wedding.
Tap The Coast is a full-service mobile bar and beverage service based in Pensacola, FL. It’s service area ranges from Panama City all the way to Alabama including Mobile, AL. You can find them on all the social media platforms on Instagram and Facebook. However, the best place to find out more information would be their website. That is the easiest way to connect with them or find just find out more information. Or, if you’ve heard enough, and want to start the conversation with Dannon on how Tap The Coast can make your big day extra special, call or text her at 850.322.8579.
Here’s to the start of your forever. And, here’s to making it a highlight!
In case you missed last week’s blog, I provided advice on how couples could Make Their Wedding Toasts a Highlight.
Dannon’s episode is still a ways away, but you can listen to this week’s current episode of Make Your Wedding a Highlight, A Phocus on Relationships To Better Tell Your Story, with Tim Sewell from Phocus Photography (the photographer who shot the Horse Trailer Bar). To make sure you don’t miss future episodes, subscribe to the podcast on your favorite podcast platform! Also, I’d really appreciate it if you left a review, too!