Cascade Holdings is a new full-service bar and beverage business aiming to provide solutions that will "disrupt" the local liquor and entertainment industries.
The brainchild of Adam Chaskalson, Tyrone Lasarow and Shaun Duwe, Cascade brings together nearly 50 years’ worth of combined experience in the drinks service, product and entertainment industry.
As an umbrella company Cascade will offer solutions and services under its three subsidiaries:
: A one-stop solution offering comprehensive bar and events management support and infrastructure to all tiers of events.
: A product development lab with a cheeky twist (building on Skinny B and Skinny M, two existing low calorie, hard seltzers);
: A B2B/DTC e-commerce business in the liquor market with wholesale distribution to the on- and off-premise trade, as well as an online retail store direct to the public.
“Now is the right time,” Duwe said of the new partnership, which comes during a time when the greater alcohol industry is picking up the pieces of lockdown prohibition regulations. He added that the strength of the new venture lies in the sum of its parts – how the three entities will function separately, but in full synergy with each other.
According to Duwe, Cascade has been researching various developmental avenues into which they could expand. “It may seem completely at odds with what is happening out there right now, but all the pieces in this puzzle have neatly fallen into place."
Duwe has an understanding of how the South African alcohol and entertainment landscape fits together, with years of industry experience that saw he and his team craft marketing campaigns and branded events for the likes of Corona, Budweiser, Jameson, GH Mumm, Skyy Vodka, Dom Perignon and Olmeca, among others.
Lasarow and Chaskalson, meanwhile, previously co-owned the largest mobile bar service in the Western Cape, Thirst Bar Services, which has serviced some of the country's most premium events. To Lasarow and Chaskalson, this cooperative venture was the obvious next step for the growth of their ideas, as well as the wellbeing of their staff.
“Shaun’s experience in the industry and marketing background in terms of growing brands and businesses will be key to us taking this business to a new level,” Chaskalson said.
Tapping into new markets
Chaskalson added that Duwe's network means they now have the opportunity to grow in the mass- and under-21 markets. “Previously we have been bigger in the higher LSM and corporate market, with the range of markets across which his network stretches, we can now grow in all sectors,” he said.
For Chaskalson and Lasarow the evolution into Cascade is very much about building on the core talent of their current team and supporting them even further during a time when so many in the industry have suffered job losses. Through 2020 Covid lockdowns, Chaskalson and Lasarow managed to retain all of their staff, even going so far as to offer members of staff a small percentage of equity share in the bar and events business.
“We refused to close the business and wait it out like most others in the industry for the pure fact that we couldn’t do that to all the staff who have been so loyal to us over the last few years,” Chaskalson commented. “With everyone giving everything to pivot, hustle and work towards staying alive we managed to keep everyone and keep the business ticking over.”
This loyal team, along with a few new faces, now make up the core staff of Cascade’s various subsidiaries, ensuring that for existing clients the transition is as smooth as possible.
“We’re here to disrupt the industry and take it to the next level, but client service remains at the core of that," Chaskalson concluded.