When Shea Hawkins was planning her wedding, she noticed that while there was an abundance of quality wedding services in Fernie, there was one service missing – bartending and drink services. Along with the help of her new husband Andrew Hawkins, her brother Cody Wakeford and his wife Kristina, the group started Kettle Black Bartending, a mobile bartending service in the Elk Valley.
“My husband and I were married in July and my brother and his wife were married two years ago in Fernie and both of our biggest struggles in planning our wedding was finding a bartender. There is no one really in this area that just specifically does bartending, where that is their sole focus,” said Hawkins in an interview with The Free Press.
“We noticed that there was a gap in the market and we decided to try it. We have over 20 years of bartending experience combined, so we were like why not?”
Kettle Black provides a range of bartending services and customizes the service to the client’s specific needs.
“We have a bunch of different bartending packages that are all customized to meet the specific needs of our clients. Our clients are mainly weddings, retirement parties, any sort of fundraiser, stagettes – we will do pretty much any event,” Hawkins said. “We customize our bartending menu, so the services that we offer, the attire that we wear, different things like that we will customize to what our clients are looking for.”
Packages start as low as $125 and range to about $1000, where everything is provided by Kettle Black, including the alcohol and mix ingredients.
“We have one package where literally, we do it all. The client books us, we provide the alcohol, we provide the mix, we provide the bartenders, we do absolutely everything and then we just bill the clients at the end. And then we have other packages where we only provide the bartenders,” said Hawkins, adding that there is a wide range of packages to choose from.
Kettle Black is a new operation, starting in August of this year, but Hawkins said that they have received a warm reception from the community.
“We have had such a warm welcome. It’s just been so great. We have worked a lot with the wedding community so far, more so the vendors in Fernie, so we have been very warmly welcomed by them and even the mayor of Fernie has welcomed us and it’s been great,” she said, adding that they already have bookings for the upcoming holiday season.
Hawkins has always wanted to own some kind of restaurant business, and decided long ago that if she did open a business, it would be called Kettle Black.
“I always thought that if I had anything kind of restaurant related, we would name it Kettle Black. I don’t even know where it came from, just kind of this idea I’ve had in my head forever. We kind of wanted to steer away from Mountain Bartending or Elk Valley – we wanted to kind of separate us because there are a lot of things that utilize the same play on words.”
Kettle Black is now accepting bookings for any event. Details can be found on their Facebook page or by emailing firstname.lastname@example.org.