Indie Oxford Interview: Sandy’s On The Move
This week on the blog we chat to George Sandbach, owner of Sandy’s On The Move, a personalised portable bar and live music service. From champagne receptions, weddings and balls, to birthday parties, hen do’s and beer festivals – they can tailor each event to you.
George shares how he started the business, why hosting is such a buzz and how you could get your own cocktail on the menu at Sandy’s! >>
Tell me why you set up Sandy’s On The Move.
I loved the initial buzz of setting up a new venue. The new customers, new staff and some interesting challenges along the way really excite me. With events you get that injection of excitement every time whether it’s a small intimate groups or 500 people black tie balls.
What did you do before Sandy’s?
I was a rackets professional in Montreal and Manchester before managing a bar up in Manchester. I still play the sport but a future career there wasn’t quite plausible. I worked in Harrods in the wine department for a while and then went to manage The Oxford Wine Cafe in Summertown and Jericho before going to South Africa and working at a winery for a few months. I was negotiating the lease for Sandy’s out in SA so after the harvest I hopped back on a plane to set it up.
What makes Sandy’s On The Move unique?
Sandy’s On The Move is different to so many other events companies because we actually have a permanent bar. Our bar in town is exactly what we bring to events. Unique and personalised cocktails, local and sustainable products and incredible staff. We also have a full piano and speaker system so we can bring along top musicians to entertain all night.
What’s the most exciting event you have taken Sandy’s to?
I love doing the big black tie balls. Fast paced on huge scales means getting well prepared days early, organising glassware, staff and production. It’s so satisfying after working an 18 hour shift having crushed it! Equally a small wine tasting for a 30th at someone’s home is equally as enjoyable…in a different way!
Tell me about the team at Sandy’s On The Move.
Nik Green runs Sandy’s On The Move. He runs the company day to day and does a brilliant job. Nik was a regular at Sandy’s and when I was running the idea of this company by him at 3 am, he said he’d be very keen to head it up, so here we are! We then call upon the best bartenders in Oxford to join Nik at events on their days off, it’s a hell of a Whatsapp group!
How long does it take you to set up at an event?
It can take us as little as 30 minutes. Depending on how many people and what equipment they need. Nik has got the art of setting up down to a tee!
How far in advance do you need to start planning for an event?
As we do the bar it doesn’t take us that long. We like to do tastings for weddings and larger events so we invite the customers down for an experience with us.
Tell me about Sandy’s masterclasses.
The masterclasses we do are great! We will take you behind the bar and show you how to make the classics, as well as our own Sandy’s drinks, and then you can come up with your own cocktail! If we like it it may even go on our menu!
Which local indies do you love to work with?
We love working with Amy Meadows. We do loads of events with her and she gets us some fab clients. The Bavarian Ball we did last year at Radley College was super fun and she smashed it on her part. You know when you’ve walked into an Amy Meadows party!