We are back and ready to bring you a few of our favorite vendors we’ve had a chance to work with over the past year. First up, Portland bartenders Mint and Mirth. Read more to find out why this dynamic duo is soon to be one of your favorites! I first met Jennelle and Joni with Mint and Mirth about a year ago. They inquired about vintage goblet rentals and when I realized what this awesome duo is capable of, I knew immediately these were two gals I wanted to get to know better. Can I just tell you how absolutely amazing and sweet they are? Seriously, they are nothing but smiles, bow ties and tasty drinks! So if you’re in need of fun, cocktail bartenders for your next wedding or event, look no further! Mint and Mirth are our go-to gals and sure to not disappoint. Mint and Mirth on the Web and Mint and Mirth on Facebook
What is a typical day for you?
Jennelle: On days we don’t have events we’re generally running around town meeting new clients and vendors and planning for photoshoots, or hanging out with our little gray cat at home. For a time there, in the summer, our events were ending around 2 AM, and the next day’s event began at 11 AM! Joni: On the day of a wedding we eat a big breakfast, make sure everything is printed including directions, contracts, etc., then gather our bar kit and all bar supplies and head to the venue. Part of our mission is to be the least stressful aspect of the wedding to bring order to what is sometimes a very hectic environment and in keeping with this we arrive at least an hour early, text the couple (or wedding planner) to make sure they know we are on our way and all is well, and, upon arrival, offer to help wherever we observe it is needed. We’ve blown up balloons, helped caterers set tables, strung twinkly lights, looked after children…it’s fun, and I think it’s part of what makes us memorable. After we organize and set up the bar, Jennelle goes through and rearranges everything! She’s a merchandising expert and she’s great at crafting beautiful, inviting displays. Our bar decor ranges from cute decorative straws and embossed napkins to personalized signature cocktail recipe embossed coasters.
What project, event or moment are you most proud of?
Jennelle: When we had to hire our first Mint and Mirth employee, that was a pretty big moment. I didn’t assume that would happen in our first year of business, but it did. And then we had to hire ten more! Joni: I’m not ready to look back yet. 🙂 I’ll be proud when we have 10,000 followers on Instagram, or if we get featured in Imbibe Magazine or Portland Monthly!
What makes your business unique?
Joni: We pass savings on to couples wherever possible because we’ve planned weddings and we know how ghastly the budget can get! I check up on OLCC sales to find out when to get the best price on an ingredient. We encourage our clients to provide their own alcohol if they want to sometimes a bride has an uncle who’s a wine distributor or something like that, someone who has access to deeply discounted wine…why shouldn’t she be able to take advantage of that? It’s something we offer that almost no one else does. We also don’t do “packages”. We custom build every menu, quote, and contract from scratch, and this is something clients have raved about time and time again. We will craft the groom his perfect drink even if it takes fifty back and forth emails. There’s a photo I love of Jennelle on Vespa, driving to a farm to gather thyme for an event at Doernbecher Children’s Hospital. We have driven over a hundred miles to get an ingredient that a bride was determined to source from her hometown. (Did I remember to charge for gas? No. Live and learn! Haha.) But my attitude is, you’re a human being, and you’re getting married to the love of your life. You are not a package!
Where do you find inspiration?
Jennelle: When we meet our clients for the first time, we take our time getting to know them and finding out all about who they are, how they met, what they’re up to, their passions and hobbies, etc. Whether they have a fun theme or need help thinking of one, we’ll draw out that perfect vision for the night. Joni: We want our drinks to surprise and delight their guests, to get the party started, to end up all over their Facebook feeds. Anything can be the jumping point for inspiration! My current favorite is a bride who loves Lil’ Bub, the famous Internet cat. She asked us to design a bar menu around Lil’ Bub. I was SO excited when she asked me that! We’ll be serving up ten flavors of champagne cocktails at a “Lil’ Bubly Bar” at her spring wedding next year. We are also influenced by certified B Corporations (those who meet rigorous standards of social and environmental performance, accountability, and transparency). They set a good example and inspire us to source almost 100% Oregon made products, use compostable servingware, and pay our employees a good wage.
Name one of your favorite vendor sources that you couldn’t do without.
Jennelle: I’ve been very impressed with Katie of Events by Gather. She is knowledgeable, professional, and competent, which is exactly what brides (and vendors) want in a wedding planner. It’s important to us to work with vendors who match not only our aesthetic but our whole sustainable concept. Joni: Their beer can be a bit tricky to get in Portland, but I’m crazy for anything from the Fort George Brewery in Astoria. They collaborated with Tender Loving Empire on an outstanding ale.
Describe your client.
Our clients are engaged couples aged 25 to 45 who want catered bar service that is memorable, affordable, and customized from beginning to end. We’ve also found a hilarious yet consistent niche in 55 to 75 year olds who want to us to entertain for them at their homes, for work and holiday parties. Thank you, ladies! All this talk of yummy drinks is making me thirsty!