5 Questions with Stephanie Groves is an ongoing series featuring local women doing interesting things that we’d like to know more about. Want to be featured? Email us at email@example.com.
Who doesn’t love a great party? Melissa Neidlinger is the new owner of Vino Mobile Bar, and she shares how a small school bus on the side of the road became the first mobile wine truck in the U.S.
For those that might not know yet, what exactly is Vino Mobile Bar?
Vino Mobile Bar is the first independent mobile wine bar in the US. We started six years ago when original owner Jenn Kampmeier found an old school bus for sale on the side of the road. After a few months of redesigning the interior and exterior in a labor of love, Vino Mobile Bar was born.
Designed to pull right up to the party and pour, Vino Mobile Bar serves wine, beer, and wine-based cocktails at all types of events: corporate, private, weddings, neighborhood, festivals … anything you can think of that calls for reasons for libations!
Your two wine trucks are named “Vinny” and “Vito.” Can you tell us more about them, and what sort of services they offer?
Vinny is our 30’ bus; he’s white with can’t-miss decorative wine decals all around the exterior. We have a cut-out opening on the passenger side where we serve from. He’s our “Food Truck” wine bus.
Vito is our smaller truck that allows us to zip around town and fit into smaller areas where we can set up a table and tent to serve guests.
Both trucks are a great talking point for events and add a lot of fun to the atmosphere.
What has been the most challenging aspect of your business so far, and how did you overcome it?
Learning all the things that come with a well-established business: permits and licensing, managing and communicating with staff on all the details of each event, and keeping Vino Mobile Bar flowing the way it always has so clients feel confident our product is as solid as ever.
Luckily, Jenn has been incredible with her organizational skills and systems she set in place six years ago and has been an integral part of educating me on how to run the behind-the-scenes details and day-of events smoothly. I’ve also been in hospitality for 25+ years, so luckily that aspect is not foreign to me!
Every day I continue to learn more about the business, the industry, and the community, and that helps me to grow along with this amazing company.
What advice would you give other women who are interested in owning their own business that involves serving alcohol?
Learn everything you can about licensing requirements, local laws involving alcohol, insurance, and just as importantly, customer service. This is a service-based industry and you and your staff need to know how to create an atmosphere that makes the client’s event memorable.
Do you have any future plans for Vino Mobile Bar?
We would love to add a 3rd truck to the family! Vinny and Vito need a sister. But in all honesty, as the mobile bar industry continues to expand there are more events around the state that need bar services. And while physical expansion is an ongoing goal for any business, in the meantime I’d like to continue building relationships with local businesses and communities.
If you are interested in booking Vinny or Vito, here’s what you need to know:
We require a minimum of two weeks’ notice to book an event so we can submit the proper alcohol permits in plenty of time. Once a person knows of their event, they should contact us as soon as possible to secure the date in our calendar. We will need: the date/location of the event, the number of guests (over 21) attending, and the number of hours of pouring time.
Those interested in booking our services can contact us at firstname.lastname@example.org or at 317.763.2401.
Stephanie Groves is the Executive Editor of Indy Maven and she wants to create a mobile dog treat bus.