In our last episode before Christmas, we’re excited to introduce you to the newest members of Club Soda, our Tasting Room team. They’ve joined us recently as we began planning for Christmas in a new retail venue, and this fantastic bunch is helping to run the bar, Tasting Room, and everything else that goes with being in a shop environment.
This time last year we spoke to members of the Club Soda team, about how they were planning for Christmas, what they were drinking, and how they felt about drinking less or not at all over the Christmas holidays. They shared practical tips and skills and all those kinds of things, so go and listen to that episode, if you want to. And we’re doing the same thing but with a whole new cast of people this year. We love hearing about what people love (and hate) about Christmas – we hope you enjoy learning more about the Club Soda team.
Planning for Christmas with your Club Soda team
If you’ve managed to visit us at our new HQ at 39 Drury Lane, London, then you may well have met our newest team members. But in case you haven’t, let us introduce you to our amazing shop team!
For those of you who have visited our festivals or our pop-up shop, you’ll know that Josh is not a new member of our team, but he’s certainly a star worth shouting about. Josh is a long-time friend, event coordinator, and hard-working team member at Club Soda, and now he can add Manager of the Tasting Rooms to his long list of achievements. We certainly wouldn’t be planning for Christmas at the shop without him as he actually discovered our venue!
We were walked into Number 39 just to see the finish on the interior. And I think Laura and I both had exactly the same feeling of: this is it. Everything about it was right. The height, the light, the space, the opportunity to just see what it’s going to be like, and it was so totally unexpected. The only building we saw that we did not have an appointment to see. And it was the only one that pretty much ticked every box we were looking for, I would say.
While Hope is new to Club Soda, she’s not new to the beverage industry, making her the perfect deputy manager for our Tasting Room. With over 12 years of experience in bottle shop management under her belt, Hope joined our team, eager to help promote the idea of taste and experience over ABV. She’s also been a bit of a legend with a paintbrush, helping to make the Tasting Room look as appealing as the drinks inside it!
I’m gonna be drinking a load of Low Tide on Christmas Eve, and a load of the Jump Ship Stoker’s Stout, because that is just such a seasonal trait. I’m a really seasonal drinker. So you know, you won’t see me touch a stout for half of the year. And then all of a sudden, it’s all I’m drinking.
Noah quit drinking in April 2022, and, looking for a way to stay in the hospitality industry, moved from Bristol to London to become the second deputy manager for Club Soda’s new venue. Noah hasn’t wasted any time getting to know London, and his Instagram escapades inside and outside of the shop are a sight to behold! Noah brings bags of energy and experience from creative development roles and cocktail making to the shop and has thrown himself wholeheartedly into planning for Christmas at the Tasting Room.
It’s just such a vast collection of people walking through our door, which is really exciting. And it’s also really comforting on a personal level to meet loads of people who are cutting down their drinking or have gotten sober recently… Every day I’m having really interesting conversations and making connections with people on a human level, which is delightful.
People arrive at Club Soda for all sorts of reasons and from all sorts of backgrounds. Teddy may not come from a retail background – in fact, he used to be a lawyer – but he’s got tons of real-life experience with Club Soda, having been a member since 2017. Teddy has taken some of the Club Soda courses and was taken with the behaviour change science that we use to help people to change their drinking. When he saw an opportunity to make his passion for alcohol-free drinks a new career, he jumped at the chance!
I’m a big fan of the Noughty Rouge. I must say that goes down very well when we do tastings here in the shop. I think it’s a great balanced wine with good tannins that you could enjoy on its own or with a meal…I think I will have a couple of bottles for Christmas Day.
Stacey had just handed in her notice at her old job in hospitality when she saw the advert for the job at Club Soda’s Tasting Room. Was it fate, chance, or destiny? Whatever it was, we’re as happy as our customers to have bubbly Stacey behind the bar, recommending delicious alcohol-free drink options to those who come and visit. Although it sounds like she’s going to have to fight Laura for her favourite Christmas drink!
I think this Christmas I’ll have some REAL Kombucha Dry Dragon. Yeah, I think it’ll go nicely with some smoked salmon on Christmas morning.