Long periods of lockdown saw the tragic closure of many businesses across the region over the past 18 months, with numerous staff made redundant or put on furlough.
It also brought about several new start-ups, with lots of people looking to make a career out of a hobby or passion they had previously left on the backburner.
For David Baddeley, whose background is in online marketing and tech, it meant the creation of his cocktail and alcohol delivery business, Boozy.co.uk, which launched back in February.
“Boozy was born through lockdown, essentially as something to do to stem the boredom,” explains David about the business, which can deliver freshly made cocktails and other types of alcohol within Manchester in under 60 minutes.
“After a night of cocktail making with friends, we started to discuss the prospect of selling them online. We had a look and couldn’t find anyone that had a prominent market position for on-demand cocktail delivery.”
“I made a call to a friend who owns a bar who kindly let me test the concept under his license, and we launched within a week on Deliveroo.”
The idea behind Boozy was initially to just sell freshly made cocktails which could be ordered online and delivered in a short time period, says David.
But they soon expanded it to incorporate other products such as beers, wines and spirits.
David says he has always had an interest in cocktail bars and nightlife-based businesses. “I always thought I would enter the hospitality sector at some point, but I always thought it would be by opening a bar or in event planning, I never thought it would be through alcohol delivery,” he says.
“I visit London a lot and always enjoy seeking out hidden cocktail bars, one of my favourites being the Experimental Cocktail Club in Covent Garden.”
So it’s no surprise to learn that the premium and classic cocktails on offer are all made fresh in-house by one of the Boozy mixologists.
“Our most popular ones have to be the Pornstar Martini, Espresso Martini and Purple Rain,” says David about the drinks, which are delivered in 225ml or 1-litre containers with mixers either incorporated or packaged separately depending on the cocktail.
David doesn’t think he would have ever started Boozy if lockdown hadn’t come about. “It’s not my usual field, but I really enjoy taking ideas and bringing them to life using my marketing and business knowledge,” he says.
But now, the Manchester business is booming. “Business has been growing exponentially since we reopened a month ago,” says David. “We’re bringing on more products each week and regularly running special offers.
“As well as Deliveroo, customers can now order through our own website and app.” David hopes Boozy can change the way we shop for beer, wine, and spirits. “I have big plans for Boozy.co.uk,” he explains.
“The next steps are to keep expanding across Manchester through Q3/4 of 2021 and then seek investment in early 2022 to scale up and take it nationwide.
“The overall idea to more local breweries, producers and retailers and create a full online marketplace for all types of alcohol and on-demand drinks.
“We want to be the ‘go to’ place for alcohol delivery.”