When it was announced in October 2018 that Tales of the Cocktail (ToC) would take its Tales on Tour event to Puerto Rico in March of this year, few people had doubts regarding the amount of energy and great vibes that would take over the streets of San Juan during the week of the event.
Organized by ToC to “further the foundation’s mission to educate, advance, and support the industry on a global scale”, it wasn’t just about getting together hundreds of people from the hospitality industry. Tales on Tour Puerto Rico was a heartfelt effort to help the island rebuild through supporting the region’s spirits community and hospitality industry.
“We have no doubt that we’ll see a long-lasting impact after an amazing week during which we were able to feel the passion that unites the hospitality industry in our region,” said Leslie Cofresí, co-founder of La Factoría. The Old San Juan bar worked alongside ToC team in order to host a series of special events during the festival.
La Factoría es tu casa
After La Factoría placed as a 2018 finalist for a Tales of the Cocktail Spirited Awards, their relationship with ToC strengthened. “Having Tales on Tour in Puerto Rico makes us feel part of something much bigger. Seeing so many colleagues who have already become family and feeling the love they have for Puerto Rico was something really incredible,” said Roberto Berdecia, co-founder of Colectivo Ícaro, which also includes JungleBird and Surf Caffè, among others.
Between March 10 - 15, 2019, La Factoría received dozens of colleagues from well-known bars, such as Guilhotina (Brazil), Barmini by José Andrés (Washington, D.C.), Spanglish (Miami) or Herbs & Rye (Las Vegas). “This type of meetings are fundamental to continue with our mission to promote Puerto Rico as an important global cocktail destination. It also gives us the opportunity to share with colleagues that we admire and love a lot. It's like a big family reunion,” Berdecia added.
Giving back to the community
In addition to celebrating the industry, several of the events held in the Colectivo Ícaro’s bars helped raise funds for important causes, such as the Karma Honey Project, which works to protect local bees and their impact on food safety, or for a colleague bartender’s fight against cancer.
JungleBird also hosted different events and parties where people enjoyed local and regional cocktails, as well as the incredible positive energy of our staff. “We are humbled and happy for this week in which the Puerto Rican spirits and hospitality industry was in the global spotlight. The memories we shared with everyone during this week will stay with us forever. Our doors will remain open for everyone to have a taste of our flavors and culture,” Cofresí concluded.