By Allison Brown | April 8, 2022
The East Valley’s Luna Kemp and Mika Testa are reinventing the way people think of event bar service.
Kemp founded Tipsy Moon Events, which aims to give customers a stress-free, one-of-a kind experience with its luxury bar and event services, and is aided by Testa.
“The majority of events I do, people are looking for a specific aesthetic,” Kemp says.
“It’s not just about having someone to serve drinks for their guests because, quite frankly if it was, who can’t pour themselves a Jack and Coke? So, we bring an entire experience. Our bars are beautifully set up, and we try to fit them in with the theme colors. I always go through a consultation with all of my clients to find out what sort of vibe they’re looking for.”
Kemp is the founder and handles the creative side, from concocting a drink menu to coordinating decorations. Testa has the business mind. Between the two of them, they’re reinventing the way people think of event bar service.
Tipsy Moon hosts a variety of events, including birthdays, weddings, holiday parties, corporate events, graduation celebrations and backyard parties. Tipsy Moon travels around the Valley and will throw events as far as Prescott and Sedona with an associated mileage fee. He says their services are worth it.
“It’s called ‘the experience’; you want them to have a memorable moment,” Testa says. “I think if people look at the other companies that are out there and they look at what we offer, it’s a more unique experience. It’s not just pouring drinks; it’s the whole experience.”
The company’s staff handles every aspect of the event planning, from balloons to music to snacks. This way, the hosts can enjoy their party and not stress over details.
“We still operate a bar service, craft cocktails and that experience, but we’re really trying to expand on the other parts of the events as well, too,” Kemp says.
“So, I find them a venue. We’ve really been working hard to partner with other vendors. So, DJs, food services, even event rental companies, because they carry a lot of the things that we don’t. It really helps everybody’s business at that point, and that’s one of my favorite things about this industry.”
Kemp has been bartending for years. Yearning a flexible schedule, Kemp started event bartending after her son was born. She then moved to catering companies and running their beverage programs. When a company closure left her without a job, she was left wanting to do more.
“I found myself not knowing what to do. I decided to put a profile on Thumbtack to see what happened, and it took off immediately,” she says. “There is just such a huge need for this, and I think that it might not be as well known, but a lot more people are starting to realize the benefit of doing it.”
Within weeks, she received calls from people looking to hire a private bartender for backyard barbecues, graduation or bachelorette parties and weddings. She realized that to really be successful with the business, she needed to commit 100%, and that’s when Tipsy Moon Events was officially founded in 2019.
Testa and Kemp met years ago and brainstormed about something like Tipsy. When Kemp said she was ready, Testa says he was completely on board.
“I definitely knew it had potential and just needed a little marketing. I don’t really want to be the upfront person; I like to be behind the scenes promoting it,” Testa says. “I’ve gone to a few events, which are a lot of fun. It’s definitely a fun business, but there’s a lot of work to it and a lot of competition. We’re trying to get our name out there and market as much as we can and brand ourselves.”
Tipsy Moon has three basic packages — a soft bar, cocktail and full bar. Everything is customized to the customer’s needs and preferences. Therefore, each event is unique.
Testa says the most popular drink is the Tipsy jalapeno, with handmade infused agave syrup with rosemary and fresh jalapenos, fresh squeezed lime juice, and tequila or Mezcal. Not a fan of tequila or jalapenos, Testa was skeptical of blending rosemary and jalapeno. He admits he was blown away by the drink.
These daring creations and bold flavors are another part of what makes Tipsy stand out.
“It’s amazing how many people don’t want just the regular vodka soda drinks anymore,” Testa says. “It’s a lot of crafty cocktails. That’s the age we’re in right now as people want these old fashions and these drinks that aren’t new. They’re old drinks that have been researched and are popular again.”
More than that, though, Kemp is dedicated to using fresh, quality ingredients and says it makes a big difference in the flavor profile. She infuses her own syrups by hand and buys organic products, taking the extra time and money to elevate the taste in her drinks.
“Our juices are freshly squeezed, and I’m super passionate about his part of it,” Kemp says. “It makes a huge difference. I could make the exact same cocktail and not use fresh ingredients, and it wouldn’t be the same. It wouldn’t taste as good.”
Prospective customers can create their own quote through the Tipsy website or fill out a submission form. Kemp schedules a consultation to create a package tailored to the client. The process is quick, easy and only takes about 30 minutes, according to Kemp.
Tipsy Moon Events