We had the good fortune of connecting with Leslie Loomis and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Leslie, we’d love to hear more about how you thought about starting your own business?
I have been in the restaurant industry since I was 16. I started bartending at 23 & I loved the fast pace & multi tasking involved. Even when I was working in a nightclub setting I was always playing around with fun & tasty shots. In the years following I worked at bars that allowed me to contribute to the cocktail menu. I always knew I would want to open something for myself where there could be no limit to my creativity. I had an idea in my head that it would be a cocktail bar, a chic but fun place to gather with friends or family. I saw it as kind of far off & was enjoying my current job situation at an upscale lodge in Olympic National Park. Then Covid happened, I lost my job & I started getting crafty with drinks at home. I started to reimagine what my business would look like after witnessing the hardship of local restaurants & bars during shut down. I loved the idea of providing my services at private events like weddings & the opportunity came up to buy a renovated horse trailer! It seemed counterintuitive to start a business during a pandemic but I knew there would be an end to it eventually and I wanted to be on the ground running already when that happened! I absolutely love the wedding industry and it has been a warm welcome by all my fellow vendors!
Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
As I mentioned before, I have been a career bartender for over 10 years. I have always had a great work ethic & desire to learn that was instilled in me at a young age. I was taught that when you want something, you have to work for it! I have worked in many different settings along the way, from high volume to fine dining & everywhere in between as well as experience in managing marketing & special events & working for ski resorts & two national parks. When working in customer service, there are times when you can feel very defeated but I like to focus on the moments that made me feel like I was making a difference in someone’s life. There is definitely a stigma on restaurant workers & how it is somehow a transitional job period & a lot of people don’t consider it to be a career. I have had a lot of success in serving & bartending. It has allowed me to see the world & meet & develop relationships with so many wonderful people, co-workers & customers! The closest friendships in my life today were born from a serving job I had in Yellowstone National Park 13 years ago! The Mountain Sips brand was born from my love for the mountains, passion for crafting specialty cocktails & the welcoming, friendly vibe here in Colorado, a place I’ve been lucky to call home now for 14 years. My favorite part about my job is providing people a safe space to relax & enjoy the company of their loved ones, and I couldn’t be happier to extend that space to private events like weddings & parties with my mobile horse trailer, Pony Express!!
Let’s say your best friend was visiting the area and you wanted to show them the best time ever. Where would you take them? Give us a little itinerary – say it was a week long trip, where would you eat, drink, visit, hang out, etc.
A week long trip in Colorado is such a dream! Whenever I have friends or family visit I make as much time as possible to show them the sights! I am an outdoor junkie, so in my opinion, a trip to Colorado isn’t complete without visiting Rocky Mountain National Park! Driving the highest paved road in the United States is quite a thrill! From the west side of the park I would head straight to Steamboat Springs, my Colorado hometown. We would visit Strawberry Park Hot Springs & hike to the top of Emerald Mountain, or Upper Fish Creek Falls. We would eat & drink at Besame, Ore House at the Pine Grove or Corner Slice! Would definitely hit up Storm Peak Brewing Co. or Steamboat Whiskey Company (or both!;) When back in the city, I always take people to Red Rocks for concerts! I love seeing the look on their faces when the stage lights up & the lights of the city are in the background just being surrounded by those huge monoliths! Right now I’m living in Lafayette & love to take people to Teocalli & before dinner, I would stop at On Point Distillery for a cocktail! I am currently working at 4 Noses and it’s my favorite brewery in Colorado so can’t miss that stop! I love to take people to Chautauqua Park in Boulder, or up Flagstaff Road to the Sunrise Amphitheater for the views! If they’re in hiking shape, you can’t miss quick hikes like Mount Sanitas or Bear Peak if you’re in the area. On our Denver day, I would take them to the RiNo Arts District, that area has grown so much since I’ve lived here and I am always finding something new! One of my favorite stops is Our Mutual Friend brewery, but there is so much to see and do in that area!
Shoutout is all about shouting out others who you feel deserve additional recognition and exposure. Who would you like to shoutout?
I have to thank my dear friend & mentor, Melissa (from Candid Cocktails), who planted the seed several years ago and is a great example of a badass businesswoman! My father in law, who believed in me & my idea, I couldn’t have made this happen without his support! Of course my Mom, who listens & supports me every step of the way. She always has a realistic outlook that I need to hear! The rest of my family & friends for believing in me & helping me to believe in myself! I had the idea for my business, and they really supported me in getting it started, and still are there cheering me on everyday! Final & biggest shoutout to my husband, Tyler. He is my rock & keeps me grounded. He has been helping me to continue renovating the trailer, has been with me to every styled shoot & has literally been there for every bump in the road & to celebrate when things started taking off. He is my other half & I am so excited to share our future success together.
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