Bridget Doran is a young entrepreneur with a vision … Having dreamed of owning her own café and seeing a gap in the market, Bridget has started her own mobile catering business, supplying excellent coffee, scrumptious treats and a bar service around the New England area. Keep an eye out for the very stylish Herd Bar caravan …
Hi Bridget. What’s your background in the New England area?
I am a local girl – always have been. I grew up in Uralla with my family and have worked in the area since completing school in 2011 and have no plan on leaving anytime soon. I love the Uralla/Armidale community.
Please explain the concept behind “The Herd Bar” and the services it offers …
My vision was to create a really fun atmosphere around the region and after months of research, I settled on the “Herd”, with the aim of bringing the community together and supplying great coffee and service across the New England region.
The services we offer are unlimited! We launched in July 2018 and are growing our offering each month. Our current services by day are specialty coffee and homemade snacks, expanding to gelato over the summer, and by night we are a bar service for weddings and functions.
How did you come up with the idea for this business?
I had been dreaming about owning my own café/restaurant since I was about 14, when I started my first job in hospitality. I saw a gap in the local market for weekend opening hours of cafés, and I wanted to give the community an option. The idea of a mobile business was thrown around in my household for years, before I finally bit the bullet and did it.
I knew I could only run this business on weekends to start with, as I still currently work in a full-time position, with the desire to run the Herd six – seven days a week in 2019. For the wedding/function side of the Herd Bar, most country weddings have to construct their own bar; whereas I offer a full bar experience.
I knew there was nothing like this in the New England region!
Tell us a bit about the caravan itself. How old is it – and how have you remodelled it to suit your needs?
My 1950s inspired vintage caravan is brand new, custom built in June 2018 by Woody Caravans in Nerang. I had been searching for months to find an old caravan to remodel; however, I could not find the perfect van. I stumbled across Woody’s, who have built this van to suit my needs.
I have been fortunate to have such great people around me to add the extra detail. A special mention to Nikki, a local graphic designer from Niknee Designs, who hand painted my logo, menu and A-frame sign.
What are some of your favourite foods/beverages to supply through The Herd Bar? Do you make all of your own products, or outsource?
My coffee blend was most important to me; I use St. Ali Specialty coffee from Melbourne. I have recently partnered with local cake creator Baked By Amy to supply me with only the best sweets.
I have big plans for the future of the Herd Bar, which I won’t give away at this time – but keep posted via my social media profile.
What types of functions/events can we hire you for?
The Herd Bar can be hired for all types of functions, including weddings, festivals, markets, sporting carnivals, corporate events etc. … almost anything, so get in touch now!
How far and wide will you travel for an event?
So far since we launched, we have travelled to Walcha, Tamworth, Armidale and Uralla, and I am willing to travel across the New England region and beyond.
Considering you’re a relatively new business, what’s some advice you could give to other new business owners?
I am all about helping each other out; as a new business I would love to collaborate more with other local business to make Armidale and surrounds a more attractive place to live. My advice is to feel free to reach out to other local businesses, because you never know how much you can support each other. It’s also an opportunity to share ideas and innovate.
Where can we contact you, or find out more about what you do?
You can contact me via email firstname.lastname@example.org or keep posted on my social media platforms, Facebook and Instagram @theherdbar
Interview: Jo Robinson.
Van photo courtesy of Edwina Robertson Photography.