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A new Toronto business is delivering expertly curated cocktail kits on a subscription-based platform––the perfect package for drink enthusiasts looking to support local.
Stay at Home Cocktail Club is a partnering effort by veteran hospitality professional Evelyn Chick and distinguished branding expert, and founder of Salty Paloma, Amanda Chen. The idea started during the pandemic when the two were crafting ideas that would connect drink enthusiasts together in a time when cocktail culture was in decline. By December, they had created a virtual experience encompassing the feeling of being at a cocktail party––then sold that experience to businesses that were not able to host their own holiday celebrations.
After some success, the concept evolved into a subscription-based cocktail kit by the start of the new year as a way to keep the momentum going.
“How do we make dry January and the upcoming months of not being able to have a bar experience more interesting?” said Chick, who also runs a beverage consultancy and virtual experience business.
Their cocktail kits are all non-alcoholic, a limitation Chick says was implemented due to the likelihood that many people were given spirits as gifts over the holidays. She also says the cocktails can be enjoyed as is.
“The kits are meant to be a lower-cost kit that can be inclusive of everyone who isn’t drinking as well, to be able to experience that fresh cocktail feeling,” said Chick.
Additionally, Chick says that with many local restaurants and bars struggling to stay afloat, alcohol sales have been somewhat of a saving grace to keep them up and running.
In December 2020, the provincial government announced that restaurants and bars would be permanently allowed to sell alcohol with takeout orders, an initiative that has kept many of Toronto’s best spots in business.
By offering a non-alcoholic kit, Chick encourages those who subscribe to Stay at Home to purchase their alcohol from local restaurants and bars.
“It’s a really great opportunity for a lot of cocktail bars out there that might not be able to survive this pandemic to clear out some of their inventory and get the interest in craft cocktails out again,” said Chick.
Alternatively, Stay at Home features a selection of cocktail kits that include a curated spirit and are available for one-off purchases on their e-commerce site. The bottles included in those kits are provided in conjunction with Century Park Tavern, a local restaurant in Davenport Village.
The subscription kits are available for a one month trial, three months, six months and up to a whole year. Each monthly kit will feature three fresh cocktail recipes that include all the ingredients to make it. Proper bar tools are not needed to prepare any of the cocktails, and Stay at Home even lists alternative household gadgets you can use instead.
Each box will also try to spotlight a product from a local producer, in an effort to keep supporting small businesses. The cocktail kit will also include a free cocktail class on the last Saturday of every month.
Cocktail kits are available for delivery in the Greater Toronto Area or for pick up at Century Park Tavern, located at 33 Powerhouse Street. Subscriptions and all additional products can be purchased through the Salty Paloma website.