Hosting a party or finding something fun to do for a company outing? Founded by Jessica Blakley and Willow Sprague, BarBees Bartending offers a fun solution for this—cocktail classes. You and your guests can learn to mix premium drinks together, which is a unique party experience. The company recently featured on Shark Tank and secured a deal with Daniel Lubetzky. Currently, BarBees Bartending is worth an estimated $1 million.
Jessica and Willow
These two besties created a one-of-a-kind service to spice things up at your next party. The team can celebrate with you and teach classy cocktail mixology at home or virtually.
Jessica and Willow first met as students at Belmont University. Sprague studied international business, while Blakley took economics and political science. The ladies immediately hit it off due to shared interests. For one, they both wanted a creative outlet outside of college.
Blakley and Sprague came to a decision to take bartending classes. There was no shortage of bars in Nashville, but the duo spotted a gap in the market for a mobile bartending service.
In 2019, Jessica and Willow registered an LLC and co-founded BarBees Bartending. At the time they were still undergraduates, so they participated in the campus entrepreneurs-in-residence (EIR) program.
The duo started as an on-call bartending service but pivoted to virtual cocktail classes to survive during the pandemic. As restrictions slowly lifted, their new service translated well to in-person lessons.
Four years after launching, the startup received the Industry Impact Award from their alma mater. This and their surging revenue gave them the confidence to apply for season 15 of Shark Tank. Out of the thousand candidates, BarBees were among the select few to get the nod from Shark Tank producers.
After Shark Tank
The founders are expecting a massive jump in sales. The next few weeks will be tough as they might struggle to meet customer demand without impacting the quality of service. The deal with Daniel should close within the next three to six months.
You can book a cocktail class on their website, GoBarBees.com or a live event in 10 cities: Scottsdale, Palm Springs, Washington DC, Tampa, Atlanta, Savannah, New York City, Philadelphia, Nashville, and Austin. If your city isn’t on the list, there’s still a possibility to work out a deal with their team. If not, you can always book a virtual class.
The business can service bachelorette parties, birthdays, dates, and all sorts of group gatherings. They also entertain corporate clients for team-building events. A 60-minute session costs $60-$80 per person and 90 minutes is $70-$90. The bartenders offer group rates if your party has over 20 people.
BarBees Bartending has a 5-star average rating from three reviews on Facebook. That’s a small sample size, but given the free exposure on national TV, the numbers will multiply in the coming months. The main obstacle to overcome will be trying to scale the business in the long term.