Liquid Lab NYC
This article originally appeared on American Express Open Forum.When promoting a new business, it probably doesn’t hurt that Parker Boase and Gregory Lucas used to be models. But these two guys are more than just pretty faces.
Having worked in the hospitality industry while modelling, the two friends often talked about starting their own business. Then at the end of 2011, they finally decided to give it a try in the high-end cocktail game.
Two and a half weeks later, Liquid Lab NYC was born with a catalogue of 150 original cocktails that incorporated molecular mixology. The company officially launched at the end of May, and already has a number of accomplishments under its belt, including an ad for Match.com.
Don’t Underestimate the Power of a Referral
To put their concept to the test as well as to get their name out there, the Liquid Lab NYC team created a series of cocktails and designed menus for Ava Lounge at Dream Hotel in New York City and Inc Lounge at Time Hotel.
“We did those for free,” Lucas says, because it meant exposure to the hotels’ clientele as well as potential publicity, like a mention in BlackBook magazine. Additionally, the company’s logo and website were incorporated into the menus.
That was all it took.
“We kept getting jobs referred through the hotels,” Lucas says, noting that it was then that he and Boase realised that there really was a demand for mixologists and mixology classes. Still in beta phase, in addition to catering events with signature cocktails, Liquid Lab NYC began holding mixology classes, consisting of a fun night in which students get to make their own signature cocktails and enjoy them afterwards.
Photo: Liquid Lab NYC
The class experiment led to another referral—for an ad for Match.com, where members get to interact with each other on dates while making their own cocktails.
Thank Goodness For Experience
Starting a new business is not easy, admits Lucas. “If we didn’t have that footing in the industry, it would have been very challenging to develop a company like this,” he says. Boase and Lucas have spent years in the industry making contacts and networking with people.
“We don’t want to turn anything down, because we are new. But having contacts allows us to pick and choose who we aspire to work with and pick who we want to represent what we are about,” explains Lucas.
The partners are also sure to utilise their strong points to drive the business forward. Lucas, who studied business operation management, handles a lot of the licenses and certificates. He admits that without his education, tackling all the paperwork would be “too much of an intimidating endeavour.” Boase, who comes from a culinary background, provided the company with his expertise, which allowed them to venture into molecular mixology.
To remain true to the lab aspect of their business, Boase and Lucas spend two days a week in the kitchen experimenting with their creations. Most recently, they came up with sangria pops, the perfect refreshment for a hot summer day.
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