Educating Bartenders Worldwide.
By Beverage Trade Network
Owned and run by trio Aurélie, Elfi, and Julien, CopperBay Paris has been a go-to drinking spot for many for the past seven years. Following the success of CopperBay Paris, three years back, the trio also opened a branch in Marseille which continues to serve guests with some delicious cocktails and food.
We were able to catch a moment with Aurélie Panhelleux, who got into the world of bartending after studying cooking at a hotel and catering school.
“I do love it, but I was missing the contact with the guest. So after my cooking exam, I decided to study for one more year, this time in bartending. To me, it's a great combination of hospitality, creativity, energy, and structure,” says Aurélie.
Since the very first day, we have had a division of the work between us three. Elfi is in charge of the marketing, development, and financial side. Julien is in charge of the operational side in Marseille, and I’m in charge of the operational side in Paris.
We work with the team on the menus and daily organization. So basically, a typical day would consist of some orders, planning our events, developing new ideas, and being on shift with the team at night.
To me, the key for a bartender should be being human and not judgmental, curious, and hard-working.
Ahah when you work in hospitality you have to be able to hear and answer a lot of "bizarre" requests. So let's say one of them was ages ago when a lady ask me for a Mojito with aspartame instead of sugar, not the weirdest but fun.
The menu has to be understandable, seasonal, and highlight all the types of flavor profiles. My associate Elfi says something cool: "when a guest reads the menu he needs to have a crush on the drink", if not it means something is missing.
In Paris, people are very curious. Natural wines are getting very important on the market, and craft beer is still basic too. In terms of cocktails/spirits, I will say that the french taste is sourer but more and more people are going for bitter or smoky flavors. Non-alcoholic drinks are step by step finding their place on the market.
There is a lot we can all do together but I think that education is the most important, through masterclasses or workshops but not only for bartenders.
It's always great being able to welcome some bars from all over the world to give our customers the option to try a different style of drinks.
It's daily work. Every single guest should be welcomed as it's the first time he/she walked in and should be given the same attention. Of course, now social media helps a lot but our regulars and also our hood is the point we focus the most on.
Social media is very important but has to be done the right way. It should really highlight the place, the vibe, and give the right vision of the drinks.
It's been a great way to keep the link with our guests during the pandemic. Either through some lives, tutorials, or posts.
I think there is a comeback to basics, meaning, sourcing the ingredients the right way and focusing on the balance.
With the team, we go to degustation (tastings) or we do some at the bar, and if everyone agrees we buy the products. But we also try to balance our selections not to have too many of the same categories, for example, if a bottle is out we buy a reference in the same profile but a little different. Then more people tend to try new things.
In Paris, we're a team of 4 and we work seven days a week. Half of the team is pretty new. We are focusing on the service standards and techniques at the moment.
During the pandemic, we were doing a visio class per week on a different subject like hospitality, mezcal, or chefs and cocktails. That was a good way to see how everyone was feeling and to keep it up.
Orgeat syrup is one of our favorites as we grew up drinking it with pastis and water. It works so well in cocktails too!
Coffee, always and a lot!! But the last cocktails I had this weekend with the team were daiquiris and grasshopper.