Guest Post: Ales & Tails – Melvin’s Story

Submitted by Melvin Symmons

I have been working in hospitality for 16 years for some very high-end chains and independent business. I had the fortune of travelling around the world while I worked and gained fabulous experience.

When the pandemic hit, myself and my wife had made a move to Plymouth. Rather then sitting and twiddling my thumbs, I was looking on the market place and saw an old rice horsebox for sale. I purchased the horsebox and set to build on my driveway in lockdown number one. With all my neighbours interested and curtains twitching, I was very happy to licence my drive and serve takeaway drinks to all of my neighbours. This was a huge success and I then found myself a spot in the Broadway shopping centre Plymstock, Plymouth.

1st lockdown was over and with the summer approaching I took private bookings and served customers in my seating area out the front. Then lockdown hit again! I closed up (due to not being able to sell alcohol) and worked for Amazon delivery around Cornwall for the festive period. I then was contacted by Spriggy’s Seafood who were working in locally privately owned Radford park. I made some tweets to my business and started serving tea, coffees, snacks in the park. This was a massive hit with all the locals and dog walkers and when the pandemic was easing, I decided it would be crazy to leave this fantastic pitch and brought a summer house, converted it into a bar/bottle shop and built it in my previous pitch in the Broadway shopping centre.

With both parts of the business taking off and still more bookings for outside events coming in, I brought a 1987 mercedes 207D ice cream van. After branding the van and converting into a bar, we were off again! I took on a small team of 4 and business was fabulous! I then had inquiries for private parties that I couldn’t access with my ice cream van or horsebox, so I have now purchased an inflatable pub and have had built a fold out bar where I can attach my beer taps!

Well that was a lot of info to share and I am now looking for a little shop in Plymouth area and we are around at loads of Xmas markets and light switch on’s currently, in Plympton, Plymstock, Tavistock and more! We also provided a lockdown bar for a new TV show, but I can’t share the information due to non-disclosure agreement.

Ales & Tails are available for weddings, corporate events, birthdays, cocktail masterclasses & more! No event is too small or big and we will travel anywhere in the southwest. We now have a great local community with marquee companies, bands, sound equipment and more!
We stock all of our Ales & Ciders from Devon and Cornwall.

Check out Melvin’s work at or follow Ales and Tales on Facebook.

Disclaimer: This article is not owned by FoodPress. Any views or opinions that are expressed are by that of the feature writer. 

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published.

This site is protected by reCAPTCHA and the Google Privacy Policy and Terms of Service apply.