In 2010, Joburg-based Alexia Lilikakis saw a gap in the market and launched professional mobile bars that serve the events industry.
Alexia, describe Barmotion in a nutshell.
We provide mobile bars at training days, product launches and other events, predominantly for corporates. We also do a lot of exhibition stands on behalf of clients at expos, conferences and congresses.
We come to the venue or office with our units, which are stocked with snacks and smoothies the client has selected from our menus. Generally a company pays us to distribute the refreshments “free” to their staff, guests or customers. We can also brand the front of the bars or elements like cups, swizzle sticks and straws for extra brand awareness. If it’s possible, we’ll do it!
What inspired the idea?
I’ve been in event management and marketing for 10 years, but what really grabs me is the brand extension side of marketing. The mobile bars are a clever way for clients to do this. I also enjoy meeting people and this is a very sociable way to do business, especially as we’re on site constantly, interacting with people.
What sort of changes have you seen in your business over the past few years?
We’ve gone from strength to strength! In the beginning we had just the Jo’burg branch servicing nationally, but we’ve since opened an office in Cape Town too.
We started out offering classics like cappuccino, gelato and smoothie bars and have expanded to include a whole variety of products, like crêpes, waffles, popcorn, sushi, soup, wraps, hot chocolate, milkshakes, smoothies and more.
And why OmniBlend? Go on, make us blush...
When we’re serving at big events, we need to be able to pump out smoothies non-stop. Sometimes we produce as many as 1500 smoothies in a day. We were using a domestic blender and industrial ice crusher for our smoothies, but it got too messy and the ice kept melting.
Using one commercial blender has streamlined the process and an all-in-one appliance also takes up less space. The OmniBlend is also really hardy so we can crush ice without the blades snapping. And Jan [director of OmniBlend SA] really goes above and beyond to help us out.
Barmotion uses the OmniBlend I 2-litre Pro. They also keep the Q1 OmniBlend Sound Enclosure box on hand for events that require a quieter ambience.
So what’s your favourite smoothie?
Our Zesty Papaya smoothie! Put the following in the OmniBlend Blender:
2 cups fresh paw paw, diced
1 fresh banana
2 cup mango juice
1 cup ice
1 cup low-fat plain yoghurt (vanilla for a sweeter taste)
juice of half a lemon