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Mobile Bar Sunshine Wine Launches This Month

Lauren Sega Lauren Sega Mobile Bar Sunshine Wine Launches This MonthPhotos provided by Christine Leonard.
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The mobile business isn’t just for food trucks anymore; liquor, beer and wine have entered the scene. Although state law has yet to catch up, mobile bars like Sunshine Wine, which launched just this month, are now available for booking at corporate parties, weddings, and other private events. Should Sunshine Wine owner Christine Leonard break through the legal barriers, even more opportunities for the new business model could open up within the next few years.

Leonard first conceptualized her business last May, imagining a vintage camper supplying liquor, beer and wine for rural weddings on outdoor farms and in barns. Because liquor licenses are currently unavailable for mobile businesses, booking Sunshine Wine means customers will purchase their own beverages, and Leonard will bring the supplies and bartenders to fulfill the service. Events also must take place on private property or with the property owner’s permission. That all might change, though, as Leonard is currently working to change Ohio law.

“Liquor control, they know, the state knows it’s coming, so we’re just trying to get ahead of it and craft it so that it not only meets my needs but also just is smart for the state,” Leonard said. “We’re just trying to make the permit make sense so it’s better for everybody.”

Although no names were disclosed, Leonard is currently working with someone formerly with the Ohio Division of Liquor Control, who’s a liaison between Leonard and the legislature. Conversations are just starting to happen, but Leonard said everything should come together in another year or so.

Currently in phase one of her business, Leonard hopes that by the time legislation passes, she’ll have an entire Sunshine Wine fleet, with a second camper and a horse trailer to complete it. She’s been in the hospitality business since college, cooking at and managing restaurants, and currently selling beer and wine for Natural-State Wine and Craft Beer. And, on her own time, she’s always been the host of all the parties — it’s all led her to this moment in her career.

“One thing has just kind of led to the next thing, and this is probably the most exciting and most fun new venture for me,” Leonard said. “I enjoy hosting parties of my own, too, so I have a lot of party gear. It just kind of made sense.”

For more information about Sunshine Wine, visit sunshinewinebar.com

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