Cascade Holdings officially opened its doors today and is poised to disrupt the South African bar, events and liquor industries. Cascade is a dynamic, multi-dimensional organisation offering solutions that will revolutionise various aspects of the South African drinks industry. 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 a range of solutions under its three subsidiaries:
- Salute: A one-stop solution offering comprehensive bar- and events management support and infrastructure to all tiers of events.
- Cheeky: A product development lab with a cheeky twist (building on Skinny B and Skinny M, two existing low calorie, hard seltzers);
- liquor.co.za: The most technologically advanced B2B/DTC eCommerce business in the liquor market featuring 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 explained of the new partnership, which comes during a time when the greater alcohol industry is picking up the pieces of lockdown prohibition regulations.
According to Duwe, 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.
“It feels as though everything I’ve done throughout my career has built up to this,” said Duwe, who arguably, understands how the South African alcohol and entertainment landscape fits together, better than anyone. His experience in all aspects of the industry has seen him 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.
According to Duwe, he and his team have been researching various developmental avenues into which to 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,” he said, referring to the partnership with Lasarow and Chaskalson who together previously co-owned the largest mobile bar service in the Western Cape.
For nearly two decades, the mobile bar service under Lasarow and Chaskalson has been the operator synonymous with some of the most premium events in South Africa thanks to their innovative product development and highest level of service. To them this cooperative venture was the obvious next step for the growth of their ideas, as well as the well-being 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.
According to Chaskalson, 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.