Three local moms who love cocktails, get-togethers and everything vintage are bringing a luxe new twist to area events.
Emma Jones, Tracy Tekulve, and Melissa Gerth recently launched The Merry Mare Mobile Bar last year by serving fancy craft cocktails out of a revamped vintage horse cart. They're soon expanding by adding another revamped vintage mobile bar to accommodate pent-up event demands in a post-Covid world.
The three were inspired to launch the Merry Mare Mobile Bar when they realized they all needed a creative outlet and had a shared love for creating unique experiences.
"The future is all about creating great experiences for everyone," says Co-Owner Emma Jones. "People are constantly seeking out the brands and companies that can help create those experiences for their family, friends, and businesses. So we decided to be one of those brands, building a company whose purpose is to provide great cocktail experiences combining the things we love - people, our community, and cocktails."
When it comes to bringing their own skills to the cocktail party, they each offer something unique. Jones is from the United Kingdom, where she was the co-founder of Redshoe, a design firm specializing in design and marketing to women. Tekulve has a background in sales and marketing, and brings many years of experience in the bar and hospitality industry. Gerth has a background in sales and marketing, and has a passion for creative styling.
Together they are offering a unique experience right here in Cincinnati that is currently on the rise in the United Kingdom and Europe. The three spent time in Texas and Nashville to bring their concept to life - a unique mobile bar bringing a sprinkle of European influence to appeal to people looking for an exclusive and sophisticated bar experience that is personalized to them and brought to their door.
The name “The Merry Mare” was inspired by a few things. Jones says that the bar is a working horse trailer, “mare" is a female horse, and merry is the feeling they bring to every event.
There have been a variety of events that The Merry Mare has catered to, including corporate events, graduations, Sunday brunch, Halloween/birthday parties, weddings, school events, race events and even tailgate parties.
Jones emphasizes that The Merry Mare can support all types of beverages such as coffee, espresso, and hot chocolate.
The evolution of The Merry Mare started at an equestrian center in Nashville, where it got a full makeover and was renovated into a vintage chic mobile bar. “The Merry Mare is all about doing things differently, and the quality of the experience is of the utmost importance,” says Jones.
And with plans to introduce a new mobile bar to join the fleet, Jones says it won’t disappoint. The new bar will be an original 1939 Crosley convertible car from Cincinnati.
“We are so excited and fortunate to be the owners of something so unique,” she says. “It’s a little piece of history we can share at events, for people looking for something different and fun. The Merry Mare Crosley is currently undergoing restoration into a tap trailer and cocktail bar. It is fully converted to electric so it is clean and quiet, making it perfect for indoor as well as outdoor events. It will be ready to go in April!”
When you work with The Merry Mare, you’ll find the process is rather simple. “We have an initial consultation to understand event details and requirements,” says Jones. “Then move onto the fun stuff – crafting the bespoke cocktail menu, cocktail tastings and designing the decorative theme of the bar to complement the event. We take care of everything!”
The packages offered through The Merry Mare are all-inclusive, minus the alcohol, and are designed to make the booking process easy and simple.
“Booking with The Merry Mare not only gives a beautiful, one of a kind vintage bar, but it enables people to purchase their own alcohol from any vendor they choose avoiding costly markups - with the added bonus they get to keep the alcohol not used at the end of the event,” says Jones. “Clients are often shocked to find we are the most luxurious and budget-friendly option.”
Oftentimes, when working an event, The Merry Mare will craft a personal drink of distinction to mark the event. For this, the team will work with the customer to blend fresh botanicals of choice to gently infuse their favorite liquor, creating a unique and truly personal way to mark their occasion.
Jones says that the group has a clear vision of what the next five years of The Merry Mare looks like as a women-led business. “We don’t want to give the game away,” says Jones. “All we can say is ‘watch this space.’”