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Author: Christine Vanover


Kristen LoVullo is the owner of Cookies & Cocktails here in Las Vegas and is also a proud membership partner of the Twinkle Toast Members Only Club. We are thrilled to announce that Kristen is back to hosting in-person cookie decorating classes and wanted to take this opportunity for us all to learn more about her events as well as about the woman behind the beautiful and delicious pastries we know and love.


When did you launch Cookies & Cocktails and what inspired you to do so? 


I launched Cookies & Cocktails on Valentine’s Day of 2020. Talk about timing... haha! I was inspired about six years ago when I took my first wine and canvas class experience. I thought, “if people are this interested in painting canvases that they will probably never hang in their home, than they would probably love learning how to decorate cookies that they can actually enjoy with family and friends time and time again.” Add in a glass or two of good wine, and it makes for an even better experience!


How long have you been working in the Pastry Arts and what has been your most notable career achievement to date?  


I’ve been in this industry since I graduated from culinary school in 2005, so sixteen years. It’s hard to pick a standout career achievement but here are maybe the top three: 

  • I had the opportunity, while working at the Bellagio Hotel & Casino, to make chocolate showpieces that were on display.

  • I opened my own cake studio/bakery, called Gimme Some Sugar, here in Las Vegas.

  • I had the opportunity to star in a few shows on the Food Network. 

It’s so surreal to think that each of these things were the ultimate goals of mine sixteen years ago and as they have been achieved, I continue to have new creative ambitions and new goals. 


We know you are AMAZING at decorating cakes, cupcakes and cookies. Which type of pastry is your favorite to make?  


Good question. It’s definitely a tough one to answer but I’d have to say Macarons. They are also my favorite to indulge in!

 

Where do you find inspiration for your event themes and designs?


Everywhere! I find inspiration in the aisles of Target, during Pinterest binges and in movies. Other creative artists are also big influences.


What has your favorite event theme been thus far?


Well, I’m FINALLY back to teaching in-person classes after COVID and I have to say that the Fall "Sweater Weather" Cookie workshop from last weekend was my favorite. I love all things Fall: pumpkins, pumpkin spice and sweaters and the designs really captured all of that.


How many different venues do you currently partner with in town?


I am currently partnered with Khoury's Fine Wine & Spirits, AR Workshop, and Bad Beat Brewing but I’m always interested in expanding that list. I love partnering with and supporting amazing local businesses.


What age do you need to be to attend a Cookies & Cocktails event?


It depends on the workshop. If they are hosted at a brewery or bar you must be 21+ but at a DIY studio, you can be any age.

Do you ever host private events or parties?


Absolutely! I offer private events with eight guests or more - birthdays, holidays, any occasion. Events can be hosted at your residence or one of my partnered locations.


What prompted you to launch a Cookies & Cocktails clothing line? 


I originally wanted my own line of merchandise, and then it just snowballed into making fun designs that were relatable to the Cookies & Cocktails concept. My parents also have a screen-printing business, so I had a background in printing already.


What’s the best way for someone to get in touch with you? 


Email:  cookiesandcocktailslv@gmail.com


Join the Twinkle Toast Members Only Club today and receive 10% off all Cookies & Cocktails DIY kits, workshops and shirts.




Photo Credit: Gaby Duong

When two Southern Belles, turned Las Vegas locals, decided to launch a new business, they made sure to do so in a way that combined their appreciation for Southern hospitality with their love of entertaining. We recently caught up with Chelsea Phillips-Reid and Christine Hudman Pardy to discuss how their backgrounds as performers play a role in their new business venture as well as the inspiration behind their desire to bring bubbles to the masses by way of their trusty trailer, Bonnie Blue.


What inspired you to create a mobile prosecco bar?

Christine first had the idea in 2016 while she was on a vacation in Europe. She was on a walk in the English countryside and saw a mobile prosecco bar. Christine realized Las Vegas didn’t have anything like this and wanted to bring it back to our city. She saw a girl online in upstate New York that had converted a horse trailer into a coffee bar and that’s when she had the idea to make a wine bar out of an old horse trailer!

What would you say was the catalyst for pulling the trigger and making your dream a reality?

Honestly, being in the entertainment industry for so many years and knowing that no matter how successful a gig is, every show eventually closes. We wanted a side hustle that wasn’t dependent on someone else giving us a job. Obviously, this is 3+ years in the making so it wasn’t a spur of the moment decision to start it.


Why did you decide to focus this concept on prosecco in particular?

We chose to focus on prosecco because we wanted take something that seems fancy and festive and make it accessible. This is really the whole concept for our business. When you think of champagne, you think expensive. Prosecco is a great alternative because it’s less expensive and you still get the desired effect. Of course, we serve other alcohol, but we focus on prosecco because it is such a happy, celebratory drink. Who doesn’t love bubbles?


How did you come up with the idea for “The Back Porch” and the name Bonnie Blue?

We are both southern girls and the term “back porch” is just synonymous with being laid-back and sitting somewhere comfortable, beverage in hand, with your family or friends. We were thinking about the events that we would eventually book and how we wanted something for everyone. Since prosecco is a sparkling beverage that might scare some people away, we wanted to have a little area designated for anyone who might just want a beer. We created this area in the back of our truck called “The Back Porch” where we have self-serve beer.


Our business name, Gone With The Wine, is a play on the classic movie title. The little girl from the movie, Scarlett O’Hara and Rhett Butler’s daughter, is named Bonnie Blue Butler, so we kind of knew from the beginning that we were going to name our trailer Bonnie Blue.

What did you find to be the most challenging part of the process?

Honestly, the most challenging part of the process has been Covid. You spend several years and so much of your time and energy building something and preparing to put it out in the world only to have it all shut down. Our launch party was supposed to be March 28 and of course, that was canceled. We had booked weddings, birthday parties and several other events that were also canceled or postponed, so that has been incredibly frustrating but it’s very important to us to be a socially responsible company.

If you had to choose a prosecco brand to be your flagship, what would it be and why?

We love them all! But seriously, we aim to please and treat every party as a custom event. Whatever you want to drink, we will serve it, but we certainly have a favorite: Gambino Prosecco. Their sparkling wines hold DOCG status and they produce something for every pallet and budget.


What types of occasions or events do you envision being the best fit for Bonnie Blue?

You name it, we’ll be there to celebrate it! From birthday parties, baby showers, backyard BBQs, graduations, office parties, corporate events, bachelorette parties and even thank goodness 2020 is almost over parties. Bonnie Blue is the perfect mobile bar for any occasion.

What do you hope your customers will take away from their Gone With The Wine experience?

We started this company because we love to entertain. Our goal is to create unique, memorable events for every customer. We want our clients to feel like they’ve been treated as family. We are proud to bring southern charm to Sin City. Our intent is pure and simple, WE LOVE TO MAKE PEOPLE HAPPY!

How do you think your respective entertainment backgrounds benefit you in this new venture?

Between the two of us, we have over 50 years of experience in the arts. From Broadway shows and tours to theme parks and cruise ships, we have been privileged to travel the world and entertain. This passion for entertaining has given us a unique perspective, each event is like creating and performing in a show. Our mobile bar isn’t just there to serve drinks, we are creating an ambience and bespoke experience for every guest.

What are Bonnie Blue’s dimensions and what is the best way for people to book it for an event?

Bonne Blue is so cute! She’s 7’10” high, 7’ wide and 11’6” long from the very front to her tow hitch. Not to mention she features a crystal chandelier and custom color LED lighting throughout. Bonnie also sports 2 wine fridges onboard, holding up to 48 ice cold bottles.


There are a lot of ways to get in touch. You’re welcome to call or text us (702) 708-5435. Shoot us an email: gonewiththewinelv@gmail.com

Check out our website: www.gonewiththewinelv.com

We are social! Check us out on Instagram: @gonewiththewinelv or Facebook: GoneWithTheWineLV