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Pembrokeshire pair lift the spirits of locals during lockdown launch

An innovative duo from Pembrokeshire, who had dreamt of opening a mobile cocktail bar shifted their plans in the heat of the pandemic. Now, they are experiencing business success, having created a thriving e-commerce cocktail business instead.

The premium small-batch cocktail business, On The Rocks Pembrokeshire, was launched at the end of last year by young entrepreneurs Jess Webb, 25, and Sam Lewtas, 28. Offering a range of eight cocktails, that are all vegan and gluten-free. Using locally sourced produce and award-winning spirits by Penderyn Distillery and Barti Rum.

Equipt With 15 years of combined experience, in the bartending industry, Jess and Sam’s initial dream, was to open a mobile bar that would travel around the gorgeous coastline of Pembrokeshire, which hosts thousands of tourists each year. As the pandemic shut down the thriving tourist economy seemingly overnight, the pair had to hatch new business plans, adapting to the new reality, that everyone was now going to be staying home.

Delivering straight to your door, a box of six mixed cocktails from £39.95 and soon to be launching a box of three cocktails from £24.95, Jess and Sam have sold one thousand units since their launch. Sam commented, “We’ve been overwhelmed by the interest in the business and feel excited that we’ve been able to bring a little part of our adored coastline to peoples’ back gardens during a strange time.”

Both originally from Pembrokeshire, Jess and Sam have seen first-hand how waste from the food and drink industry affects their local environment. Inspired to create a change, On The Rocks Pembrokeshire launched as a wholly sustainable business, using only materials and packaging that are 100% recyclable.

Jess said: “Over the past year in planning our business, Sam and I were very lucky to be able to walk out of our front door and soak in our local county of Pembrokeshire where beautiful sights like the Goscar rock proved calming in the height of lockdown. This little corner of Wales has gone on to inspire our business, of which our Welsh identity is really important“

The business having initial support from Big Ideas Wales, a welsh business service funded by Welsh Government. Sam spoke to us of their support “We were able to discuss our business plans, air concerns and ask questions to Big Ideas Wales Role Models who had not only been in the same position as us, but could offer tailored support and first-hand advice from their own businesses.”

Big Ideas Wales business advisor, Julie Morgan said: “What started as a mobile-bar dream that was halted by lockdown restrictions has resulted in a booming cocktail business which is inspired by a taste of Pembrokeshire and Welsh spirits. Jess and Sam are a testament to how dedication to a craft and business can help you thrive even in the most difficult of situations.”

Over the next year, Jess and Sam are eager to introduce On The Rocks Pembrokeshire to wider audiences. They hope to sell in local markets, pubs, bars and shops in Tenby and Saundersfoot. They also plan on expanding their cocktail range, introducing a limited chocolate martini this Easter, a range of fresh daiquiris over summer, and a spicy mulled cocktail this winter.

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