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Tools of the trade

Felicity Murray talks to a company that has been supplying glass and barware under the Urban Bar name since 1995, and has over 35 years experience supplying the spirits companies with bespoke products

Nick Andrews Urban Bar

Based in the UK, Urban Bar supplies branded bespoke products to the drinks industry plus a range of off-the-shelf items for bars, clubs, hotels and restaurants. It also sells glass and barware to the retail, catering and consumer markets worldwide. Bartenders will also be familiar with some of Urban Bar’s product brand names Pearson Paaw and Freepour.

Among the newest products on offer is The Calabrese Collection of barware tools, which includes shaker, hawthorn strainer, mixing glass, julep spoon and bar spoon, available in 18/8 steel and silver plated versions. For really speedy cocktail mixing, and also new, is the Pearson Paw for measuring multiple shots at once.

“Our products are designed and manufactured for people to use on any occasion – bar and glassware for everyday use for professional bartenders/mixologists, promotional products that can be used every day by the consumer market, and beautifully designed glass and barware products for the consumer/cocktail enthusiast,” says Nick.

“Our marketing strategy is mainly centred around recommendations and word of mouth approach, this works best for us and helps us to develop strong relationships with our customers. We’ve experienced steady growth over the last few years and are planning innovative and exciting marketing campaigns to support our brand positioning and new product launches from 2013, focusing on customer engagement and social media activities.

“Our products are made from high quality materials, and they are brought to life by a team of talented and innovative thinkers who constantly push boundaries of manufacturing. On top of this we often collaborate with the best in the industry to design and create products that are both desirable and functional. There are a number of people offering barware but none developing new items like we do.

Nick and his team try to keep in close communication with the bar world to keep up with design styles and respond to functionality requirements. “Our customers want both and we give it to them. Different drinking vessels are still popular and we have three glasses to help with that!”

Sustainability and environmental considerations are crucial in any businesses today and Nick points out that Urban Bar, too, is constantly striving where possible to reduce its impact on the environment in its day to day business, manufacturing process and packaging production. “We make good long life items so that people are not using cheap items that need to keep being replaced,” he says.

In regard to meeting this challenge from the brand owners, he says: “We work with each one individually to provide what they need and to meet the requirements of the brand and/or demands of any CSR policy they may have in place. We enjoy the challenge of meeting their needs, and exceeding them, even if it involves thinking outside our current processes and materials.

Finally, I asked Nick what makes Urban Bar products stand out from competitors in the market and what new products he has up his sleeve. He answered: “Quality and designed for purpose…and as for what’s new, there’s nothing I can give away until it is on the market I am afraid!”

29 April 2013