We all know about food trucks. But what about booze trucks?
A local husband and wife have started a new mobile bartending business called Thirsty Buffalo Beverage Co. Basically, they work as caterers for beverages. Hire them, and they show up with a mobile bar to serve your private party or event.
Owners Matt and Jessica Judson don’t supply the alcohol, but they supply the labor, mixers and bar equipment.
“We’re technically a dry bar,” Jessica Judson said. “We calculate an alcohol shopping list for clients and they provide the alcohol. We take care of everything else.”
Most people are likely to hire the Judsons for cocktails, but they also will serve beer and wine and even nonalcoholic beverages, such as coffee, hot chocolate and mocktails.
The Judsons moved here in 2015 from Buffalo, N.Y., and their business is named after a popular bar there.
“We moved here hoping to open a bar,” Jessica Judson said. But they came up with the mobile idea as a more affordable way to start a business. “We have three kids, and we’re working with a limited budget.”
The trailer fit the bill. “It’s actually a vintage horse trailer that we renovated. I just liked the aesthetic.”
The Judsons built out the back so it opens up to become a bar. “I wanted to build out the back to have the actual feel of your friends gathering around,” Jessica Judson said. “I think it’s important to connect with your guests.”
Once the bar is pulled out from the back of the trailer, six or more people can comfortably sit around it.
While they build their business, Matt Judson, 41, has been working as a server at Ryan’s Steaks Chops Seafood, and Jessica Judson, 33, has been working in direct sales.
Together, the Judsons have more than 35 years’ experience in the bartending and related industries. Before they moved here in 2015, Matt Judson was running a popular bar in Buffalo called Mes Que. “The food and beverage scene has just exploded there,” Jessica Judson said. “Here we see so much room for growth.”
Matt Judson said he loves the creativity of craft cocktails and the couple always wanted to own their own business. “This has been a dream of ours for some time,” he said.
Thirsty Buffalo has several packages available, but in general its services are geared toward large parties. The beer and wine package starts at $7 a guest with a $400 minimum. Though that doesn’t include alcohol, it does include four hours of service, napkins, cups, ice, menu planning and more.
The full bar package starts at $10 a guest with an $800 minimum. The Judsons work with clients to create a custom menu, then bring all the soda, juice, lemons and other supplies.
The alcohol-free package also starts at $10 a guest with an $800 minimum. Customers can choose from a coffee, beer, mocktails or hot chocolate bar.
To get the physical bar itself, with stools, costs an extra $600. They also offer a smaller barrel bar for $250 and mini bar for $150. The bar rentals apply toward the minimum fee.
Packages can be customized as needed, adding such things as glassware and lounge seating. Similarly, customers can pay extra to have coffee served in addition to cocktails.
The last week, the Judsons worked a pre-Fourth of July party for Ron and Kelli Price in Pfafftown.
Ron Price said he liked the convenience of having someone else deal with the alcoholic beverages. “I was cooking hot dogs, and we have a lot of kids running around. It was just nice to not to have to worry about all that,” he said.
For more information, visit https://thirstybuffalobc.com.