Sophie Stich never imagined herself owning a 1964 vintage Airstream, especially not one that was fully restored and custom-built with a wine cooler, beer keg and bar area.
She hadn’t even seen anything like it until she came across a YouTube video about a prosecco cart in England. It was 3 a.m. and she was caught up watching when the idea sparked: Toastworthy, a rentable Champagne pop-up bar on wheels.
“I really wanted to build Toastworthy as a company that celebrates life,” Stich says, now owner and founder of the brand. “And I couldn’t think of a better drink than Champagne.”
Stich had recently quit her role in marketing with DC-based sweetgreen when she began brainstorming how she could combine her experience in hospitality, business and event management. After watching the video, she decided the new route was an 8-foot-wide, 11-foot-tall and 17-foot-long Airstream, which she has nicknamed the “Toaster,” that would serve drinks and promote fun while traveling within a 20-mile radius of Washington, DC.
The Toaster officially rolled out in April 2018 after an extensive restoration and customization process, and has since popped up at private events around the DMV, from weddings to corporate fundraisers. Back in May, it was parked at Varnish Lane Nail Salon and Kendra Scott in DC, where guests shared sips of Champagne and enjoyed manicures in honor of Mother’s Day.
Now, Stich says, it’s all about letting the world know about the Instagram-worthy opportunity in the DMV as the only one of its kind—and it serves up more than just Champagne.
“I think that people are really looking for unique activations at their events for Instagram or other purposes,” Stich says. “So, how do you create that unique experience? With a thoughtfully designed, pretty and modern experience.”
The basic rental package of the Toaster, includes the Airstream, lounge and styling (including tables, chairs, blankets, pillows and customizable event signs), bar set-up, travel costs and serving staff. It starts at $1,850, with prices varying based on add-ons, such as additional bartenders, glassware rental, interactive games and use of the Toaster’s interior keg.
But there are a few things to note. Toastworthy is not in the business of purchasing or selling the alcohol it serves, and is not a licensed catering service. It a BYOB company that offers event set-up, bartending services and additional interactive items, but requires guests to pay for the alcohol and food through a separate vendor.
Stich says the primary reason is because the Airstream travels over state lines and she wants to make the opportunity as accessible as possible to residents throughout the DMV. In addition, the Airstream must be parked on private property due to differing laws and licenses.
The Toaster has attended an estimated three to four events every month thus far, says Stich, and has gathered a steady following thanks to word-of-mouth marketing from friends and family, as well as the company’s Instagram presence.
“At each event we’ve served, we have gotten another referral,” Stitch says. “We’re looking at a pretty busy fall season.”
Going forward, Stich hopes to see the Toaster popping up at more public events that reach the community more broadly, and can’t wait to see more people interacting with the Airstream in ways she never imagined before.
“I pinch myself every time I have someone come into the Airstream and serve their friend a glass of Champagne,” says Stich. “I just think it’s really special to see people engaging with it and talking about how cool it is.”
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