Is This a Business?
Inc.|March - April 2021
Marco Zappia, a former bar director in Minneapolis, has an idea for a cocktail commissary business.
By Hannah Wallace

THE ENTREPRENEUR

ZAPPIA It’s no secret that restaurants and bars often make most of their profit through alcohol sales, and that the best margins in booze come from cocktails. But in the craft cocktail movement, everyone does their own prep in-house, and preparing the necessary ingredients—juices, syrups, infusions—takes a lot of labor, which eats into those margins. Plus, the equipment needed to make some of the more complicated concoctions—rotovaps, centrifuges, immersion circulators—can cost thousands of dollars.

Outsourcing to a small prep operation servicing one or two dozen local bars would help cut labor and equipment costs and provide economies of scale: Buying a weekly pallet of sugar is more cost effective, but very few restaurants or craft cocktail bars can order in bulk, because weekly budgets are tight and storage space is limited.

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