Know Your Neighbor - Mandie Foster and Native Cocktail Events - Guide to Greater Tampa Bay
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Know Your Neighbor – Mandie Foster and Native Cocktail Events

Know Your Neighbor – Mandie Foster and Native Cocktail Events

To Mandie Foster, mixology is more than just a science.

The Owner and Head Mixologist of Tampa-based Native Cocktail Events is quite literally on the move. Foster is bringing her signature brand of innovative and mobile craft cocktails to people across Greater Tampa Bay.

“Native was created to reinvent the approach to craft cocktails on a mobile scale,” Foster said. “It’s known for delivering untraditional and innovative experiences, providing the ‘wow’ factor for our clients,” Foster said.

The University of Tampa alum founded Native shortly after graduation, turning what was then a hobby into a business opportunity. Foster poured a lot of effort into Native Cocktail Events to turn it into what it is today.

To Foster, the conceptualization of an idea is half the battle. Putting pen to paper and coming up with the practicalities was another challenge altogether.

“Being able to execute that idea and make it realistic, effective and efficient is where those successful with their businesses thrive,” Foster said.

A Creative Approach to the Familiar

Foster’s inimitable flair for the creative is always at the center of her business. Since Native’s genesis, she has conceived more than 400 new craft cocktails.

Events do not come with pre-set menus. The client’s palates decide the lineup. Fresh ingredients, handcrafted touches and personalized experiences separate Native from the rest.

“I am always learning and growing in my knowledge of the craft and in how I can enhance craft cocktail aesthetics and experiences for my clients,” Foster said.

With her clients, Foster can experiment and expand her craft. She believes GTB is just the right place for it.

“I have always loved Tampa Bay, even before I went to school here,” she said. “I love the diversity and culture of the area, and that there are so many layers to the city, old and new.”

For Foster, innovation is essential. Always scouting out fresh ideas and capitalizing on current trends, she ensures that Native is agile and cutting-edge.

Foster attributes her imaginative inventions to her lack of traditional bartending and mixology training. Unconstrained by rules and limitations, the free flow of ideas is one of Native’s greatest strengths.

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Moving Up, Above and Beyond

As for the future, Foster has a lot of plans. Foster elevated Native’s bar experience in year two. She brought in trendy add-ons and hosted more events with higher guest counts. She has even bigger plans for year three and beyond.

“We are hoping in our third year to push the bounds of creativity and innovation that Tampa Bay currently has associated with craft cocktails,” Foster said.

No matter how large Native Cocktail Events becomes, authenticity will remain as important as ever. From the name to the self-designed logo, Foster in some ways sees the company as an extension of herself.

“We take so much pride in our craft cocktails curated from glass to garnish, and our events designed methodically from start to finish,” Foster said.

Greater Tampa Bay can certainly drink to that.

By Ryan Walsh.

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