This week we have a chat with Ciprian Zsraga about his new business The Lucky Drinker.
Continuing our series highlighting people who launched a business during the coronavirus lockdown we spoke with Ciprian Zsraga. Ciprian will be a familiar face to many of you having been in the industry for 15 years and worked behind the bar at both the American bar at the Savoy and Artesian bar at The Langham.
During the pandemic Ciprian launched The Lucky Drinker website with a range of glassware, barware and books. Amongst the many excellent features of The Lucky Drinker are the free delivery and most impressively no minimum order.
BarLifeUK: How did the coronavirus pandemic/lockdown effect you job wise?
Ciprian Zsraga: Working in the hospitality industry means working with people and when the pandemic took over this aspect influenced me, but thanks to the technology I was continuously in touch with friends, colleagues and lot of guests.
BLUK: Was The Lucky Drinker an idea you had before Covid started or did it come to you during lockdown?
CZ: I always had a passion for writing and the idea started in 2017 as a blog with the aim to inspire, educate and spread love and passion for the amazing world, and since its foundation the pillars has always been: “drink quality, drink in company and above all drink responsibly!”.
With time comes evolution, and this has been applied to The Lucky Drinker by adding and opening this January a premium barware, glassware and book shop with one goal in mind: to provide a high-quality, smart, and reliable barware shopping experience.
We started with 47 items types and after one month, we had massive demands and we had to go for a bigger warehouse and even to extend our portofolio to 200 different types of barware and glassware currently stocked.
BLUK: What challenges did the lockdown present when launching The Lucky Drinker and how did you overcome them?
CZ: There were multiple challenges, especially to import products into the UK and Covid19, Brexit and some challenging weather conditions had a huge impact on our early launching phase but we did excellently and overcame this. Furthermore, we are looking to grow and expand our portofolio and thinking to become a wholesaler very soon.
BLUK: Did you have a ‘yes, this is going to work’ moment?
CZ: The economic aspect is crucial in any type of business and especially when you invest personal capital, and every single decision has been carefully taken in order to minimize the risk.
Every investment and decision has been made with a ‘must work’ mindset. So far this has worked brilliantly.
BLUK: Describe the most important lesson you learned – the one thing someone launching their own business / project needs to know before they get started…
CZ: You have to believe in yourself and in your idea! And act! Act now! Definitely do your research, your homework, speak to everyone and especially to your competitors (you can learn so much from them).
BLUK: Did you discover any must-have resources / tools / mentors along the way?
CZ: My biggest motivator and source of inspiration in life and business is my girlfriend. She is really influencing me directly and indirectly through all life processes and decisions.
BLUK: What are your plans with The Lucky Drinker for 2021 and beyond?
CZ: We aim to become a wholesaler in the near future so we can offer the best quality at the most competitive prices ever.
Initially we intended to operate locally, for the London market, but we receive orders from whole England and even outside: we are already trading with customers from Scotland, Ireland, Italy and Germany. This demand gives us the intentions and direction to fully operate very soon in the whole UK.
Moreover, after five years of writing, another dream is about to become reality, I am about to publish my first book globally. More info on this to follow.
BLUK: What changes would you like to see the bar industry make as it rebuilds in the coming months?
CZ: Living and working in London, which is very often referred as the capital of the cocktails, I consider myself very lucky as I have access to all the material needed to expand my knowledge and become more passionate about this craft.
Definitely there is need to invest more in the core of this sector and to elevate the guest experience. We focus too often on ingredients and flavour combinations.
We encourage you to check out The Lucky Drinker website it has plenty of fantastic stuff for everyone. We will be bringing you news on Ciprian’s book when it is launched.
We’ll be back with another Lockdown Launches story in a few days, if you have launched a hospitality industry company or brand in lockdown and would like to be featured on BarLifeUK drop us an email to firstname.lastname@example.org