We had the good fortune of connecting with Jennifer Reyes and we’ve shared our conversation below.
Hi Jennifer, what do you attribute your success to?
What is the most important factor behind your success / the success of your brand?
The most important factor in the success of our brand has been believing in our dream with passion and perseverance.
It was our dream to own our own a Tiki Bar and Polynesian restaurant. We looked for a year and half at multiple spaces and when we couldn’t find a space that spoke to us, we began doing pop-ups to start building our brand. We wanted to see if anyone, besides our friends, would even be interested in a tropical experience here in Dallas.
As our pop-ups continued, while we looked for a brick and mortar to call home, our events got bigger and so did the crowds. We made such incredible connections with our regulars who then became friends. They were tiki-starved here in Dallas and we were determined to give them the escapism they so longed for.
We continued to look at spaces for many years, coming close to signing on leases, even against our lawyer’s wishes because even a bad deal can be attractive to someone who wants the dream to come true so badly. We are glad we that waited for the right location, landlord and lease. If I had any advice for another entrepreneur it would be to wait for the same! Dreams can become nightmares in the wrong situation.
The frustration of coming so close so many times and still not being to find the perfect place could have stopped us in our tracks many times, but we never gave up. We promised ourselves and our regulars that we were going to make this happen and that kept us going.
We signed our lease in 2019 with an expectation to open in March of 2020. We all know what happened then. The question then became, what do we do now? We kept the Swizzle brand relevant by doing juice and mix deliveries and hosted a weekly online show. Part of our brand is escapism and what better way to escape the fear and anxiety of the times than giving people something to look forward to, even if it was only once a week. Staying creative is a key element in our branding that makes us successful. Plus it keeps it fun and refreshing for us as we move forward.
Marty and I have been in the service industry for most of our adult lives and we are in it for the people. People are our passion and what better way to give back to people than with food, drinks, and fun.
Can you give our readers an introduction to your business? Maybe you can share a bit about what you do and what sets you apart from others?
I think I unintentionally answered this question in the last question lol
If you had a friend visiting you, what are some of the local spots you’d want to take them around to?
These are the places we take everyone to:
Dallas Pin Up
Steel City Pops
Bella and Brawn
Greenville Ave Pizza Co.
Main Street Park
Clyde Barrows House and Grave
Oswald’s visiting House (where he stayed the day he shot JFK)
The Grassy Knoll
The Joule pool
Fort Worth Stockyards
Joe T Garcia’s
Who else deserves some credit and recognition?
Beachbum Berry. If it wasn’t for his extensive research of the long lost art of tiki cocktail recipes, that knowledge would have faded away and Don the Beachcomber’s recipes would have continued to be misrepresented from their intended flavors.
Lindz Photography, @arrozconlily, Jen Reyes