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Life & Work with Joseph Samuel

Today we’d like to introduce you to Joseph Samuel.

Hi Joseph, we’d love for you to start by introducing yourself.
I got started in the Dallas bar scene by going to ABC bartering way back in 2006. Little did I know how hard it would be to get a decent job afterwords. Hardly anyone wants a bartender fresh out of school with no experience. Most companies want you to have some experience or want to hire you as a server and teach you all of their terrible bar technics on the way. I got a small Jamaican restaurant/ club “Murphy’s” to bite and I haven’t looked back since. I’ve spent the last 15 years in every type of bar scene possible. From fast-paced nightclubs to fine dining. That’s allowed me to be around so many great minds and personalities in the service industry.

My wife talked me into starting Craftenders in 2018. At the time, I was running the bar program at Flora St. Café the only 5-star restaurant in Dallas. I had done plenty of private parties but I wasn’t locked into it. Then it hit me. If I can maintain a 5-star bar program for a fine dining experience, then why could I do this for myself on a more permanent basis. That was the birth of Craftenders. I wanted to be able to maintain the craft cocktail program from upscale restaurants and bring it on the road to weddings, birthday parties, cooperate events, etc. We use the same disciple, fresh seasonal concept as any real Dallas bar or restaurant. Except we bring the party to you.

Five years later, we are busy every weekend. Some of the friends that I’ve met in the service industry over the years now work alongside of me. Who better to take care of you than former employees of hotels and restaurants. The end game is to be the best staffing company in TX but we have to conquer D/FW first.

Would you say it’s been a smooth road, and if not what are some of the biggest challenges you’ve faced along the way?
I never fully transitioned out of restaurants. I still pick up shifts at Billy Can Can in Victory Park. I think I will always do that. It keeps me sharp and in the know. It’s really all about preparation and knowing your worth. One of the things you learn in the service industry is how and when to prep. As long as we are prepped properly, we can do it all. Now Especially with Covid, there’s been a surplus of mobile bar companies on the rise. So I’m sure you can imaging the difference in opinions in style and pricing most of all.

Alright, so let’s switch gears a bit and talk business. What should we know about your work?
We specialize in creating fun cocktail menus to go with the theme of the celebration. We toy with name puns to make it fun. We do “sip and see” to client determine client preferences on flavor profiles. We like to match our uniforms with the color of the party as well. Most of all, we create seasonal cocktails. So whatever is fresh and in season will make it to your menu. Just like your bars and restaurants.

Can you talk to us a bit about happiness and what makes you happy?
I get the most excited when I’m creating on the fly. Nothing makes me happier than a client asking for a let’s say a vodka cocktail. I’ll ask for a flavor profile (fruity, spicy, earthy, etc.) then create from there. They taste the result and wow. They now have a cocktail they didn’t know existed and most times, the cocktail does not have a name. I love that part of it.

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