A honeymoon idea turned into a Branford mobile prosecco and craft beer bar business – New Haven Register

Chicago Greektown

Tara Capelli of Branford pours a drink at her Cork & Craft mobile prosecco and craft beer bar.
BRANFORD — Tara Capelli said she can’t wait to tell her one-year-old daughter that someday — even on her honeymoon — if she comes up with a business idea, she “can bring it to life and make it a reality.”
That’s the way it happened for Capelli.
When she was honeymooning in Italy five years ago with husband Anthony Capelli, she noted there were many small trucks around and wouldn’t it be “cool” to sell prosecco out of such a vehicle.
Tara Capelli and her husband, Anthony Capelli, on their wedding day five years ago, only days before while on their honeymoon, she imagined the dream of a mobile Prosecco cart.
One pandemic, one child, Ava Rose, and lots of pandemic realizations later, Tara Capelli now owns Cork & Craft, aprosecco and craft beer bar on wheels for rent that’s getting lots of party time.
“I want to set the example for my daughter,” Capelli said of making her own business dream come true.
Why prosecco — an Italian sparkling wine — and craft beer?
“I’m a lover of prosecco and I thought it would be awesome to have a prosecco bar on wheels, and my husband loves craft beer,” she said.
“Cork & Craft” mobile Prosecco and craft beer bar with a free-standing bar in front that is also used for gigs.
The business isn’t limited to those drink selections, as folks can customize their liquor and nonalcoholic selections to the vehicle’s six taps, kegs and a free-standing bar that can be set up nearby. The vehicle has a cooling system to keep the drinks cold.
The vehicle also can be decorated for any occasion.
Tara Capelli’s “Cork & Craft” mobile Prosecco and craft beer bar.
Tara Capelli uses a three-wheeled electric vehicle, an “eTuk” commonly used by vendors, that’s custom designed and usually is brought to their gigs by trailer, although the vehicle is Department of Transportation compliant and can be driven in Branford.
Capelli said they’re willing to operate the business all year — even in cold weather — and even can go in houses with French doors, garages or any other access because the vehicle doesn’t emit fumes.
“I love making our clients happy and being a female business owner. … I love being able to meet new people – our clients, vendors,” she said. “We like to celebrate every event after the year we’ve had (with the COVID-19 pandemic). There’s no party too big or small.”
From left to right: Maid of Honor Scarlett Nawrocki and Olivia Hodina in front of  “Cork & Craft” mobile Prosecco and craft beer bar, which served gifts at Hodina’s bridal shower.
Melanie Torres of Derby, who recently threw a surprise 60th birthday for her mother, said she grappled with making it BYOB or just buying liquor at a package store, but when she heard about Capelli’s business, chose that option — and was glad she did.
“Everybody was like, ‘Oh, my God. This is a great idea. They should have this at every party,’” Torres said.
“I loved it. … It took away a lot of the stress (of planning the party),” she said.
Tara Capelli in front of her “Cork & Craft” mobile Prosecco and craft beer bar.
Torres chose two beers, sangria and seltzer for her taps — that’s what mom likes — and said she loved that the bartender suggested putting seltzer in the sangria for bubbly.
Cheryl Hodina of Tolland used Cork & Craft for her daughter’s bridal shower in July after the maid of honor found it online. She said Tara Capelli was professional, easy to work with and prompt with requested documentation.
“It made for a very nice presentation and something for people to remember” Hodina said. “I couldn’t be happier; I hope they take off.”
“Cork & Craft” mobile Prosecco and craft beer bar cart ready for another celebration.
Tara Capelli said business is bustling and they’ve booked all kinds of celebrations, including weddings, birthday parties, showers and corporate events since they finally got on the road in September 2020 after pandemic delays.
Although she officially owns the business, husband Anthony — a medical device salesman by day — often pitches in with her tending bar.
“I think for me, most importantly, I enjoy seeing my wife enjoy and accomplish what she set out to do,” Anthony Capelli said. “She has a flourishing business; I couldn’t be more proud of her.”
Seeing his wife’s work up close, Anthony Capelli said the wedding/party planning business is a more “detail-oriented” than he thought and believes their service is “the focal point” for events.
The Cork & Craft mobile prosecco and craft beer bar decorated for a birthday party.
The price of the service isn’t cheap and doesn’t include the alcohol, but it varies with package deals and in some cases hourly rates of $500 per hour with a minimum of two hours. The prices include setup, serving and cleanup. While mobile bars can operate without a liquor license — requiring the party host to make the liquor purchase — Tara Capelli’s business does have a special liquor permit, Anthony Capelli said.
She started going for the dream in September 2019, after she discovered the eTuk vehicle. She had it customized and intended to do the cart part-time in addition to her full-time job.
From left to right: Cheryl Hodina and her daughter, Olivia Hodina. Cheryl Hodina threw a bridal shower for her daughter and hired “Cork & Craft” mobile Prosecco and craft beer bar out of Branford and was thrilled with the service.
Then in March 2020 the pandemic hit and her first planned events were canceled. Capelli was pregnant, working her administrative job from home, so she took that time to go deeper into marketing the mobile bar business.
By the time the world opened up again, Ava Rose was born and Capelli had spent more time home with her than she thought she would be able to, deciding to keep it up.
Capelli said she “got too caught up in the 9-5” work scene and until the pandemic had been hesitant to take risks even though she grew up the daughter of a business owner.
She quit her job and is now focused on the mobile bar business.
“I think this past year we all learned time with your family is the most important thing,” she said.
Tara and Anthony Capelli on their wedding day five years ago, just days before she expressed the dream of owning a Prosecco bar on wheels.