About Time You Met: Bubble BrosBy Alicia Grimshaw
We love a good start-up story, and the Bubble Bros is a company we can get on board with. Bubble Bros combines Ben and Joe’s three passions: sparkling wine, festivals and tinkering with old vehicles. They have been quenching the thirst of the masses over the last two years at festivals across the UK serving over 45,000 glasses of fizz from their vintage three wheeled Piaggio Ape prosecco van. We chat with the chaps about starting a company, the UK’s love of Prosecco and future plans:
Hey Ben and Joe! How did you guys meet?
We used to work together in an advertising agency in London. Ben was an account man, Joe was a creative copywriter. Two sides of the tracks coming together over a mutual love of festivals, sparkling wine and vintage vehicles. It was like Romeo and Juliet, but with less poison and more bubbles.
What made you set up a Prosecco van? And how did the decision for selling Prosecco come about?
It was actually Joe’s wife Lucy who noticed that there wasn’t any good Prosecco at public events. It was easy to get it in bars and restaurants, but festivals seemed to only serve beers, ciders or sprits. We decided there was a definite gap in the market and our first Prosecco Van was born.
How long did it take for the idea to become a reality?
We had talked about it for a long time, but it was only when we found our first little Piaggio Ape that the wheels (excuse the pun) started to turn more quickly. From buying and converting the van, to getting licensed and putting out our first advert was about 6 months.
You’ve taken your Prosecco van to festivals and private events across the UK – what’s been your fondest festival memory?
Our first BIG festival booking was Download Festival. We signed up not really knowing what sort of music, or people, would be there. We found out that Download is a huge Heavy Metal festival for about 80,000 serious metal-heads. We were absolutely bricking it in the build up. We had visions of getting attacked or the little van being toppled over, but it turns out that these 7ft tall, tattooed Black Sabath fans are some of the nicest, warmest people you’re ever likely to meet. That festival will always be very dear to us.
Why do you think us Brits love Prosecco so much?
It’s cheaper than Champagne. That helps. But, more importantly, the Prosecco making process creates a lighter, dryer sparkling wine that’s easier to drink over long periods. This makes it ideal for British drinkers who like to be able to have more than a couple of glasses and like to drink all day at weddings, festivals and garden parties.
Where are you chaps heading to this year?
So far we’ve done Download, Glastonbury, Canal Fest, RHS Urban Flower show and a whole host of smaller events. Still in the diary are Wireless, Latitude, The Extreme Sailing Series and a tons of other private and public outings. Keep an eye on our Facebook and Instagram for more updates.
Are there any plans to expand Bubble Bros?
Definitely. We currently operate 5 vans and a motorbike and sidecar bar. We are looking to expand our fleet to more vintage vehicles and have a few exciting product ideas in the pipeline too. We’ve got an exciting couple of years ahead.
You’ve converted a Piaggio Ape Van and a 1969 motorbike to sell Prosecco. Are you planning on refurbishing any more vehicles?
A few months ago we ‘accidentally’ bought a vintage German fire engine. We woke up the next day and realized what we’d done and took it back. I wished we’d kept it. I’d love to have a fire engine bar. Would be great to get the hose working too. Prosecco by the gallon!
What’s been the biggest challenge of starting a drinks company?
Logistics. Making sure everyone and everything is in the right place at the right time. Finding the best people to help you run the logistics side of the business is so important and a real challenge.