In 2015, Tap It! Draught Services and Supplies is celebrating its 10-year anniversary. In order to celebrate this great milestone, the Timmins Chamber asked owner Jonathan St. Pierre a few questions about his decade of success.
Q: Provide a brief description of your business.
Tap it! provides draught service and supplies, having started a home business in 2005. We install, clean and maintain draught equipment and bar supplies for the North. We also take care of commercial-grade fridges, ice machines and more. We also cater to the home user by supplying keg fridges, bar supplies and more. We install and clean pop lines, wine on tap, as well as inventory systems for liquor, beer and wine. We provide training for staff at the commercial level on bartending, serving and draught-pouring techniques. Tap It! also bartends for weddings and rents equipment for events big and small.
Q: How many employees do you have?
We have two full-time employees, and 10 part-timers (events).
Q: What factors have helped you to successfully reach this particular milestone?
Hard work, planning ahead, and wanting to help as there is a need for this service in the North. And fo course, support from family and friends.
Q: What have been some of your most memorable moments in business?
Opening a new business about draught beer, then bringing in new business, and building relationships with owners and brewers -- and of course, pouring great-tasting beers!
Q: What’s one interesting thing about your business that people might not be aware of?
Draught beer is a science and you need to pay great attention to it. That has its rewards: you get great-tasting beer. Beer is food: refrigerate it, clean it and maintain it.
Q: What is the biggest challenge you have overcome as a business to reach this milestone?
Getting people and businesses informed on why they should clean their draught lines. People think that if they use less, they don’t need to clean it; others say they use lots so beer, and therefore it doesn’t sit in their lines long enough to require cleaning. It’s food, and if not maintained or cleaned, food can cause issues like bacteria, bad smells, and more. However, when systems are kept clean and running well, draught beer will create more profits than bottled beer: there are no preservatives in it, unlike bottled beer, and it’s the freshest you can get.
I’ve also tried to understand the lack of laws and enforcement for vendors to keep their lines clean, like the United States have in place. When you go to a restaurant, you should be able to see a sticker saying, “We only serve beer from a clean line!”
Q: What has your experience doing business in Timmins been like thus far?
Great! A lot of businesses have had a great response to what we do, and they’re surprised there is a need for what we do.
Q: Describe how your business started, and how it’s changed over the years.
The Beer Store (which I worked for since 2002) has a division down south that takes care of all restaurants and bars. I started by joining forces with their staff to get the proper training: draught equipment and how we clean it changes almost every second year, if not annually. New technologies come out all the time, meaning better and faster pouring, less waste, etc.
Tap it! only had a few clients to start with, and after talking with owners and managers about the facts as to why they need our services, we grew.
At first, we did some weddings -- maybe once a year, if that -- with draught. Now, 90 percent of weddings we do is with draught. Tap It! continues to service weddings and other events, providing great, cold beer.
Q: What can we expect from your business in the future? Are there any plans on the horizon you would like people to know about?
We plan to continue providing great service, great-quality beer, and a smile while doing it.