Sangria Truck clients can choose from a number of packages and a wide variety of high-end libations, from sangria of all flavors to classic cocktails and trendy mixes, all served in a fun, novel atmosphere.
Over the years, Lauren Henry has put in thousands of hours as a mixologist behind the bar.
After earning a communications degree from the University of Florida, the Nease High School alumna (Class of 2005) got married and settled down in her hometown.
"I had kids and took a break, but I wanted to work again; I just didn’t want to sit behind a desk," Henry said in a recent interview with The Record.
She decided to go back to where she felt most comfortable — making guests happy with creative and fresh cocktails — just taking the bar to them instead.
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Enter the concept of the Sangria Truck, a mobile party on wheels that can be rented for weddings and other special occasions. Clients choose from a number of packages and a wide variety of high-end libations, from sangria of all flavors to classic cocktails and trendy mixes, all served in a fun, novel atmosphere. Hosts can even customize their own menu of offerings or create a drink named specifically for them.
Henry’s first step was securing a vintage 1965 camper and having it refurbished by her handy husband, Brandon. A smaller "bar cart" can be rented for more intimate events.
Since launching just under a year ago, her bookings have grown steadily, and she recently did 17 weddings in just the last month. Henry had to hire an additional bartender to keep up. But while weddings seem to be most popular, the Sangria Truck also does corporate parties, birthdays, tailgates and other gatherings.
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Henry invites guests to come inside and take all the photos they want.
"We’re usually dancing and singing," Henry said with a laugh.
The motif has a bohemian Southwestern vibe, with live cactus plants adorning shelves and glass jars filled with colorful fruits and garnishes.
There’s also a lounge to the side of the camper where people can pull up chairs informally over a drink.
State law allows Henry to serve alcohol but not provide the alcohol itself. That means the customer or venue has to supply the alcohol needed for the event. If that policy should change, she would love to bring the Sangria Truck food truck events and festivals.
Most of her business has come from Duval and St. Johns counties, with many clients finding the Sangria Truck on Instagram or by word of mouth.
"It’s been overwhelmingly successful so far," Henry said.
Henry said she has also gotten a lot of support from businesses owners in the area, particularly other women.
This story originally published to staugustine.com, and was shared to other Florida newspapers in the Gannett Media network via the Florida Wire. The Florida Wire, which runs across digital, print and video platforms, curates and distributes Florida-focused stories. For more Florida stories, visit here, and to support local media throughout the state of Florida, consider subscribing to your local paper.