It’s always exciting to connect with creatives’, especially when it comes to food and drink! Innovators that think outside the box and have a burning passion for what they do. So it was great to meet Azeez Quadry; The brain child behind cocktail drink brand, Happyy Chap!
Established in 2016, The HappyChap’s aim is to bring happiness to individuals by providing mouth-watering and fresh Cocktails and Mocktails to people of all ages. Catering for a wide variety of occasions such as weddings, private parties, baby showers, product launches and outdoor events.
We were fortunate to not only sample some of their drinks, but get first dabs on their new bottled cocktail drink too!
We sampled one alcoholic and one non alcoholic drink. The *The Happy Chapman – Bittersweet Sensation* contains alcohol and went down a treat with the guests. It is a mixture of Fizzy Orange, Blackcurrant, Bitter Lemon, Fresh Lemon Juice, Fresh Lime Juice, Fresh Orange Juice and a secret ingredient. Refreshing in flavour, leaving your taste buds longing for more!
The second drink was a great option for the kids and those who don’t drink alcohol! Titled *Cuddles on the Beach*, this is the non alcoholic version of the cocktail *Sex on the Beach*. It is a mixture of Fresh Orange Juice, Peach Nectar, a hint of Cranberry and Grenadine Syrup. Both drinks were perfectly balanced in flavour, wonderfully presented and had guests wanting more!
We caught up with Azeez to find out more about his creative vision for The Happyy Chap!
Who is brains behind the brand The Happyy Chap and what is the thought behind the name?
Honestly speaking, God is the brains behind the Happy Chap (even though this may sound cliché) This wasn’t an idea that had been in my head for years nor was it one that I had a huge amount of passion for. An opportunity came about, out of nothing almost and I literally ran with and there was the birth of Happy Chap.
In regards to the name, the traditional Nigerian drink ‘Chapman’ was the first thing I knew how to make and I wanted to incorporate that into the name somehow. Then I thought about what I wanted people to do when they taste our drinks and that was smile. The rest is history really, our name is ‘The Happy Chap’ and our motto is ‘Drink with a smile J’
What inspired you to start your own business, and what have been some of the highlights thus far?
Two things inspired me to start my own business; money and success. Firstly, the idea of getting paid one day out of 30 and 12 days out of 365 doesn’t sit well with me. The older you get the more responsibilities come your way and the more responsibilities come your way the more money you need, it’s that simple. A man called Jim Wang said an average millionaire has at least 7 streams of income. In this country people are so used to being paid once a month, paying bills, saving and having some sort of a social life on that one pay. I’ve always said I will not limit myself to that.
Secondly, being successful is another one of my inspirations. I don’t mean success in the form of money (even though that would be great), I mean success in the form of starting something from the ground and taking it to great heights. Coca Cola started from somewhere, Bacardi started from somewhere and one-day people will say Happy Chap started from somewhere.
I think the greatest highlight of this year is being able to kick start the company off the ground. The team we have here at Happy Chap are absolutely amazing and they are always coming up with new ways for us to get better at what we do. I think about the first wedding we catered at in February and how inexperienced we were compared to now, we have honestly come so far and we are still getting better.
We have also had the opportunity to partner up with some fantastic brands and these partnerships have allowed us to become more known in the industry.
[Pictured above – Azeez Quadry, Founder & Mixologist at THC]
What makes you stand out from everyone else as a brand?
I prefer to focus on our brand and being the best and doing the best for every client so I don’t really check to see what others are doing. Here at The Happy Chap, I can honestly say that we take the time to get to know all of our clients in order to be able to offer them the best. We don’t practice a one jumper fits all style, we genuinely create bespoke packages for different clients based on what they like and what we think their guests would like.
Lastly, our aim is actually to make people smile with our drinks. Imagine being at a wedding, around beautiful people, having good conversation and good banter with people, the scenery looks great and you’re happy, then you pick up a drink and it doesn’t taste nice. In that moment, that could ruin all of the good things around you. Well, our job is to deliver mouth watering drinks, whilst providing great customer service to keep that smile on your face!
Who inspires you and what is your favourite quote that keeps you going in business?
I wouldn’t say there is a particular person that inspires me. I am a firm believer in keeping great minds around you and when I look at my groups of friends, that’s exactly what I have. When you have people around you that are doing great things, you either keep up or drop out.
Therefore, I would say they all inspire me to want to do better, to want to be better, and the sky is not our limit, it’s our starting point. However, I do have a brother that I look up to very much. He is five years older than me and I can say that he has been an amazing role model for me growing up. He has helped me so much in life knowingly and unknowingly and his support is always evident in everything I do. I sometimes think about how much I owe him in life and I just end up with a headache because the truth is I can never stop repaying him.
The quote that keeps me going in business and in life is:
“If you can find a path without no obstacles, it probably doesn’t lead anywhere.” – Frank Clark
This to be just means everyone should expect obstacles in life, they are there to show you that you’re going the right way and also to prepare you for when you get to the top.
What have been some of the challenges you have encountered being a new business?
Finances have been one of the major challenges encountered being a new business. They say you should crawl before you walk but the fact of the matter is you also want to be able to compete with those in your field and to do that you need money. Keeping the momentum going can also be very hard. Working a nine to (only God knows what time) means a lot of your time in the week is occupied. I’m usually tired by the time I get home and I also want to fit in the gym, cooking etc. But your business is also very important and you have to find the time to work on it because that is your baby and it won’t grow unless you give it the attention it needs.
Some weeks will be better than others, that is natural, you just have to find a way to keep going because your business won’t grow without you.
Where can we expect to see you guys in the future?
We’re already getting bookings for next year so hopefully, we will be able to cater at a lot more events. We also want to do festivals next year, set up mobile bars at functions and have started bottling our signature drink ‘the Happy Chapman’! We have had a good year so far so we hope we can keep growing and keep getting better.
So what are you waiting for? Want custom mouth watering drinks at your next event! Get in touch with the Happyy Chap team now!
Twitter – @goq
Instagram – aoquadry
Instagram – The Happyy Chap
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