Connor Owner of Volcanic Potions based in Stoke-on-Trent is in the spotlight in our new series Meet The Local Business which features the person behind some of your favourite locally owned business.
Tell Us A Little Bit About You.
My name is Connor, I'm 26 and I'm from Smallthorne in Stoke-on-Trent and I am a local lad. I've converted a horse box into a mobile cocktail bar and we cater for weddings, parties and anniversaries. I put this idea together about a year ago, so were a new business.
How Did You Come Up With The Idea Of Converting A Rusty Old Horse Box Into A Mobile Cocktail Bar?
About four years ago, I finished university and worked at a warehouse job but didn't enjoy it and that's when I came up with this idea. I was thinking for weeks and weeks trying to find something to do and suddenly it hit me how about a cocktail bar. I quickly realised it might be unrealistic to have a bar so I came up with the idea of a mobile bar. I found another job and I saved up some bonuses and money and I thought, let's give it a go. I found this horse box and little by little I kept doing it up and about six months ago we finally got it on the road.
Did You Set Up The Horse Box During COVID-19?
Yes, I literally got the trailer three to four months before COVID-19 and just started working on it, but as everything was shut down I just did what I could and then as things began to open back last year I took the plunge and managed to get it all done.
Do You Have Any Tips And Tricks For Entrepreneurs Or Anyone Thinking of Setting Up A Business?
Yeah, for me, I had quite a lot of self-doubt. I thought to myself I don't know if I could do this and it made the process a lot slower, but if you've got an idea just go for it. Just throw yourself into it and research everything you can, you have to take the plunge. If something goes wrong, you get a lesson from it. You learn as you go, for me I wasn't a mixologist before this I just picked it up, I am learning every day. For me, it's just taking it all step by step.
Tell Us About Your Vision
The whole backdrop was the goal in my head. This is the image I had in my mind. I wanted a funky neon light in the middle. So it would sort of trap people in, I wanted the whole thing to be based on a tropical island, so all the drinks are named after something on this island. I wanted to stick with that jungle sort of theme with the trailer itself so it would be a bit more unique so that people would remember the name. I just wanted to keep the jungle theme really.
Is This Your Full-Time Gig, Or Do You Also Have a Job? And What Was the Vision When You Said You Wanted To Work For Yourself ?
About a year ago when covid was easing up a bit, I had the trailer and the work started, but I needed to stop being scared and just go for it. I was in a job where I was making good money and had no reason to be afraid but I kept saying to myself this is going to happen one day. But nothing was getting done, so I took the plunge and work at my job part time and balance the two jobs now.
What Would Be Your Advice For Someone Who Wants to Do Something Similar to This?
Just go for it. You will have ups and downs, but that's what's going to make you learn, just stick with it and put in the work.
What's Your Favourite Or Most Popular Cocktail Drink You Sell?
It would be the Hurricane. It is definitely my most popular one at the moment, it's a dark and light rum with hints of lime in there with orange juice. It just hits the spot.
What Are Your Plans for Volcanic Potions?
The next step I would say is to turn this into a full time thing. That is the number one goal, I want to be more consistent. I want to bring back the drinking scene into Stoke-on-Trent or Newcastle-under-lyme and once I am out there, maybe open a local bar in the high street and then see how things go.
What Do You Like About Selling On We Get A Deal?
For anyone in my situation if you're a new company its perfect for getting us out there, I love that there's no upfront costs and you just pay when it works if I make a sale. The set up process was brilliant I just told you what I did and you set up everything for me, I literally didn't have to lift a finger.
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You Can Watch Our Meet The Local Business Video with Connor Here