Portfolio by Cleo McGee
17 July 2020
17 July 2020
Temps de lecture : 6 minutes
6 min

Buveur: How premixed single serve cocktails became cool

COVID-19 has given certain startups the ability to accelerate their business models and Buveur is one of them. We wanted to get to know the product and the founders behind this single serve drinks phenomenon. Here we speak to Co-founder Rob Wallis on his journey so far, how Buveur came to be and his perseverance and dreams for the future of this growing brand.
Temps de lecture : 6 minutes
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People are socialising more at home with BBQ’s, or in the park, on the beach, or any outdoor space due to ‘the virus’. As the hospitality industry slowly wakes up and comes back to life, being a company of premium single serve cocktails, Buveur is ideally positioned to bring the bar experience to them, wherever they may be. People are ‘being braver in their home bar’ but also look for the ease and high end bar experience that they can now get by just opening a bottle, and pouring a delicious premixed to perfection cocktail over ice. The simplicity is genius and just what consumers are looking for, especially now.

Buveur is opening its first angel funding round which will have them looking for 400K in investment in return for 20% of their business - a great opportunity to get in on a growing industry. In speaking to the founder Rob Wallis it becomes clear that as a founder he is clear about his product, its trajectory and how it can scale. Also noteworthy, is his insistence at using the best products for their cocktails, most of which come from UK grown brands. Again, a really nice touch at helping British business grow and develop, especially in a time of crisis. Buveur is a brand growing with a team behind them that knows what it is doing, has passion and persistence and in my opinion makes a great investment.

See Buveur on NOTWICS Connecting People

Rob, give me your elevator pitch for Buveur: 

We make 5* star quality hotel bar cocktails that can be served as easily as a beer or a can of Coke.

Tell us a little bit about your partnership with your co-founder Sam and how you met and developed the idea for Buveur? 

Sam and I have been friends for well over a decade, we met around age 13 and were friends all through school and by sheer accident went to university together. Sam studied film and I studied music so the first “professional” projects we worked on together were Sam's films. He would direct and I would write the musical score and after managing not to fall out through university working together, we went out into the world. Sam went to Soho to work in film and TV for the likes of Netflix, Disney and the BBC and me to luxury hospitality in the Swiss alps where I made cocktails for the world's rich and famous in super-chalets; (quite the experience!) We always kept in touch and when I moved back to London we used to frequent bars and drink cocktails together and one dark night I sent Sam a message saying... “I want to start a company that makes the perfect bottled Old Fashioned” and he replied… “that’s not actually a terrible idea” and thus Buveur was born.

Your career backgrounds were both not directly in the drinks industry, how have you entered it and gained knowledge and insight into both developing superior products and selling them? 

I had always been a bartender pre and post university, but it was our mutual love for great food and drink that Sam and I had always bonded over most. Our starting point was R&D (research and development) which meant visiting great bars and sampling their classic cocktails. With that as a starting point, coupled with my experience in the alps, we knew what we liked and we knew how we wanted it to taste. From that point to the end result of the finished products we have now, we spent days and days inside test kitchens with scales, pipettes and test tubes trying our best to recreate the drinks we knew and loved and using the same ingredients the bartenders did. Our aim was always to create super-consistent, super-high end quality drinks for people to enjoy. 

Selling a product you know inside and out, love and have created yourself is far easier than selling something you don’t care about. In the early days our passion and care shone through our pitch and people will  always buy into people. After that it’s just practice and honing your craft, with some rejections along the way to teach you the lessons you need to learn and perspective you need to have.

You guys have had some great partnerships with Vogue, Selfridges etc have you been surprised at the press you have got and has it helped? 

It’s always a pleasure to read our name in print, and the press coverage we have got has really helped to cement our brand, but the biggest asset to us has always been our accounts, such as Selfridges, Harrods, The Ritz, Hoxton Hotels and more. These are bigger than any billboard advertisement we could afford. The fact that these institutions believed in us and our products, is  much better than any ad we could ever make.

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Why the name Buveur? 

Literally, it means drinker, but in practice it means so much more than that, a bon viveur is someone who really takes in life and makes the most of it, an epicure and oenophile 

What's your favourite book and why? 

For work, “That Sh*t Will Never Sell” by David Gluckman; inspiring stories of the creations of some of the most household brands, told unpretentiously and honestly.

For fun, during lockdown the book I have enjoyed most has been the Dishoom cookbook, incredible recipes, great details about the history and stories behind the dishes and the characters that helped create the brand and a way for me to make the most out of working 6 feet from the kitchen for the last 4 months.

What is a quote that you like to live by in business? 

“Stuff works out” in life and in work relentless optimism is vital for a young business and I find myself saying it every single day. 

Tell me about the big dream for Buveur?

You leave for the airport with a bottle on your shelf looking back at you, as you board the plane the flight attendant offers you a Buveur cocktail. You land and head to your hotel, in your mini fridge is a Buveur cocktail, as you head out for dinner, on the menu you see our drinks, then you head out to the cinema, there on the menu again is one of our signature cocktails. That’s the dream! 

And lastly what is your favourite cocktail? 

The old fashioned, our first ever drink and my personal favourite.

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See Buveur on NOTWICS Connecting People