In Starkville, Mississippi, there is a large market for liquor. Almost every restaurant in town has a liquor license and alcoholic beverages on the menu. Besides that, there seems to be a liquor store on every corner.
You might think that University Town has enough alcohol-related businesses to satisfy the public, but the addition of two new businesses couldn’t be the same: Elevate Mixology, owned and operated by Rosa Dalomba, and Booze Cruise, Condominium owned and operated in Starkville. by Jordan Stong.
Elevate Mixology isn’t the only Starkville company Dalomba has started. She is also the owner of The Pop Porium, a downtown gourmet popcorn shop. It was with the knowledge gained from launching The Pop Porium that Dalomba ventured out to launch Elevate Mixology.
This new company is a traveling staff agency for special events in venues that have obtained liquor licenses. Dalomba says that after building a business, she realized that owning a business works through a formula and learning that formula makes it easier to launch new business ventures.
“We specialize in providing high quality staff for events,” Dalomba said. “We mainly specialize in mixology and bartending, but we also provide staff such as servers, hostesses and really anything an organization or a family is throwing, an event of any kind.”
Dalomba said they mainly work with sporting events and other professional events. They are open to working at private events, provided the venue already has a liquor license. Dalomba said his staff provided the service, not the alcohol.
Dalomba is eager to see the potential of his new venture unveiled as the business takes off. She recently launched Elevate Mixology and last week celebrated five years of The Pop Porium.
The established business owner spoke passionately about giving the people in her life the opportunity to make money in a convenient way to pay off student loans. In all of her work, Dalomba shares that she is always looking for a way to give back through who she hires and where she invests.
“They’re looking for a way to make money, but they already have a nine-to-five,” Dalomba said. “With Elevate, I will be hiring people who are already in their profession with high quality professional training. They are able to take a few days off and do a really good change of bartending over a weekend.”
Similarly, the Booze Cruise app, an alcohol delivery service in Starkville, Oxford and Hattiesburg, is another way for students to earn money with flexible alcohol hours.
Jordan Stong, Anthony Depreo, and Colton Miller started this business in 2021, with Stong being the Starkville representative. Stong said he wanted to stay in Starkville because there’s a market here for business, but also because he loves the city.
Similar to food delivery apps, Booze Cruise operates through an app and has drivers who will deliver liquor so the buyer doesn’t have to leave home to go to a liquor store. This company has the slogan “You drink, we drive”.
They deliver from several different stores in Starkville and through this act as a way for shoppers to try out new stores and support local businesses.
Mississippi State University Chief of Police Vance Rice shared his thoughts on both companies in an interview with The Reflector.
Referring to Elevate Mixology and the mixologist recruitment agencies in Starkville, Rice shared that this business is likely to succeed due to customers’ desire to see some of the responsibility for liquor sales fall from them and onto recruitment agency.
Although he was unaware of Booze Cruise, he shared some pros and cons of the company. Considering that there is potential for app and company misuse to get these products into the wrong hands, this could also be an effective way to keep people off the streets by drinking.
“Sometimes people run out and go to the store to buy more,” Rice said. “Most of the time these people have already had more than enough to drink and probably shouldn’t be driving.”
Starkville is a unique, relatively small town with a large college campus attached to it. This opens up many job opportunities such as these two unique businesses housed in Starkville’s business dynamic.