Thursday, January 17th, 2019

S Shopper Stories


MR. MARGARITA OF HAMPTON ROADS

Frozen drinks and soft serve treats for adults and kids


Brothers Jason and Eric Harvey, owners of Mr. Margarita of Hampton Roads

Brothers Jason and Eric Harvey, owners of Mr. Margarita of Hampton Roads

Jason and Eric Harvey are as close as two brothers can be. Growing up, they did everything together from being on the same basketball and baseball teams to camping vacations. That camaraderie has stayed with them into adulthood, and now they’re even in business together.   

Jason and Eric lived the first part of their lives on Long Island, New York. In 1992 their dad’s job with Litton, a defense contractor, now Northrop Grumman, brought them to Hampton Roads.  The family settled in the Great Bridge section of Chesapeake and enjoyed spending vacations at the grandparents’ house in Waynesville, North Carolina. Both Jason and Eric graduated from Great Bridge High School.

In 2005, while visiting friends of their parents, they were introduced to a home frozen margarita machine. Jason, Eric and their dad, Jim, were completely enamored with the machine and the delightful concoction that it produced. “From the very first sip, it was amazing!” Eric says. They felt that this could be a business venture worth pursuing.

They soon discovered most people don’t need a frozen margarita machine in their home all the time, so Jason and Eric decided to purchase the machines and the drink mixes and rent them for private house parties. In April 2006, their business, Mr. Margarita of Hampton Roads, served its first frozen drink. The response from guests was overwhelmingly positive.

Jason and Eric are quick to acknowledge that their parents were extremely encouraging during the initial start-up. “Dad was a big part of the business, and mom was very supportive as well,” Eric asserts. Their mother, Valerie, works in clinical research and is close to retiring, and Jim is already retired. “Even though Dad says he doesn’t want to help as much in the business these days,  he still likes to be involved,” Jason laughs. Jim continues to take care of the books and handles occasional deliveries during the week.


“...our clients have great things to say
and are very happy.
We have quite a bit
of yearly repeat business.”

—Eric Harvey



In the early years, Jason and Eric promoted their business by wrapping their trucks and trailers with eye-catching print ads. Of course, they now have a comprehensive website that provides great information and takes reservations. During holidays and the summer months, it’s best to reserve the drink machine a few weeks in advance, but if a special occasion suddenly comes up, the brothers will do their best to provide a machine on short notice.

Although Mr. Margarita keeps Jason and Eric busy, they have other careers. They both graduated from Old Dominion University - Jason with a degree in finance and Eric with a degree in business IT. Jason now works for DaVita, and Eric works for Colonna Shipyard in the Quality Assurance department.


Tropical frozen drinks in a coastal grass hut complete the scene

Tropical frozen drinks in a coastal grass hut complete the scene


Jason and wife, Brianna, have been married for nine years. She is originally from Indiana and is an insurance agent. They have a wonderful two-and-a-half-year-old son named Cole. Jason and Cole can often be found playing golf together.

Eric met his wife, Erin, on a rafting trip. She is from Weirton, West Virginia and is a health and physical education teacher in Hampton. They were married in August 2016, and like to go on motorcycle rides and relax with friends in their spare time.

Making special occasions the social event of the year is what Mr. Margarita aims to do and they make it easy. Along with the margarita machine rental, cups, extension cords, a pre-measured mixing bucket and a cart are included. The frozen drinks can be made with or without alcohol, which the host of the party must provide. However, Jason and Eric do share the recipe to make the perfect frozen margarita. It only takes about an hour for the first batch to freeze, so guests won’t have to wait long for that first delicious sip.

“The machines are so easy to use and we guide people through the process,” Jason says. “When we deliver the machine, we mix the first batch and explain to the host how to operate it and how to refill it,” Eric adds. They even leave an easy to follow reference guide and their cell phone numbers, just in case there are any questions during the party. “When we pick up the machines, our clients have great things to say and are very happy. We have quite a bit of yearly repeat business,” Eric points out. Several Mexican restaurants have already reserved a few of the margarita machines for Cinco de Mayo to help the bartenders keep up.

With the popularity of their frozen drink machines, Mr. Margarita has added soft serve ice cream machines to their inventory. Many people rent the margarita machine and the ice cream machine together; they complement each other and delight both adults and children.


“When we drop off the ice cream machines,
the kids and the adults are really excited.
They are even happier when we tell them
that the ice cream will be ready to eat
before Jason and I have a chance
 to walk out their door.”

—Eric Harvey


Aside from private individuals, corporations and businesses are calling on Jason and Eric to make their parties fun, too. The Virginia Beach Department of Parks and Recreation and the City of Chesapeake have used the ice cream machines for their outdoor events. Local hospitals, clubs, schools and members of the Navy also love to include the frozen treats in their festivities.

“When we drop off the ice cream machines, the kids and the adults are really excited. They are even happier when we tell them that the ice cream will be ready to eat before Jason and I have a chance to walk out their door,” Eric smiles.




Mr. Margarita

757-410-1979