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Tortuga Rum Company and Tortuga Imports Inc. continue to shine
Cayman, May 11, 2007 / DiversityBusiness.com /-- The Tortuga Rum Company Ltd has recently opened a new retail location in the Royal Watler Cruise Terminal. Located on the waterfront in George Town, Tortuga Fine Wine & Spirits and Tortuga Duty Free Liquor, which opened on Monday 23 April is the company’s seventeenth retail outlet in Cayman.

According to President of the Tortuga Rum Company, Robert Hamaty, it is a duty-free and duty-paid location (regular local liquor store) and all the major brand name liquor, beer and fine wines can be found at the new location. In addition items such as rum cakes, sauces, snacks, bottle water and soft drinks are available for purchase.

Mr Hamaty described the location at the Royal Watler terminal as an excellent one and said the response from cruise ship passengers to the new outlet has been very encouraging. He said the outlet is well promoted on cruise ships and described duty free items as an important component of the tourism market.

While the response from cruise ship passengers has been encouraging, unfortunately local residents and visitors have not realised that it is a location to serve them as well.

“Some people may view it only as a duty-free store since most people associate retail outlets at airports and seaports to be duty-free,” he explained.

However, Mr Hamaty said that the outlet is a full package store catering to everyone. He also said the outlet has only been opened recently.

“The store is so new, it has only been open for a short period of time,” he said.

Mr Hamaty explained the company used to have two stores in the Old Fort Building. These outlets were lost when that building was demolished to make way for the Royal Watler terminal.

He said those stores did very well but a long time has passed since they were open, however Mr Hamaty is confident that more residents and visitors will visit the store.

The duty paid section is open Monday to Saturday from 9:00 am to 6:00 pm while the duty free component is open for all cruise ships.

The company has also started an initiative at the new location and encouraged the participation of members of the public, especially those working in the capital.

“We have started doing wine tasting every Wednesday from 4:00 pm to 6:00 pm at the new location,” he explained.

“It is an open house and a free event, therefore we invite all office personnel working in the George Town area, local residents and visitors to the Island to join us for the wine pairings and tasting.”

Mr Hamaty also said that plans are on stream for the company to its open the eighteenth retail outlet at Governor’s Square in September. Since its establishment in 1984, the Tortuga Rum Company has grown and expanded. It has also become internationally recognised, especially for their Tortuga Caribbean Rum Cakes, which are shipped to over 70 countries and are considered the number one export of the Cayman Islands. And, Tortuga Rums of the Cayman Islands are now sold in the USA through importer, Majestic Distilling.

In 1997, Mr Hamaty’s daughter Monique Hamaty-Simmonds and her husband Marcus Simmonds formed Tortuga Imports Inc, which is based in Miami Florida. This organisation handles worldwide distribution, mail order, food service and online sales for the locally based Tortuga Rum Company.

In addition to the recent opening of the retail outlets in the Royal Watler terminal, the company has another reason to celebrate.

Tortuga Imports Inc. was recently recognised as one of the ‘Top 100 Diversity-Owned businesses in the state of Florida (Div100)’ by DiversityBusiness.com, one of the leading multicultural Internet sites in the US. The company was named to the Top 100 women-owed businesses and Top 100 small businesses in Florida. The winning companies were honoured at a special awards ceremony at DiversityBusiness’s ‘7th Annual Multicultural Business Conference’ held last month at the Mirage in Las Vegas, Nevada. President and CEO of Tortuga Imports Inc. Mrs Hamaty-Simmonds was delighted for the recognition by DiversiyBusiness.org. “We are proud to be recognised as one of the top diversity and women-owned small businesses in Florida,” she said. “We have introduced millions of people to an authentic and delicious ‘taste of the islands’ by bringing Tortuga Caribbean Rum Cakes and gourmet products to North America and the world.” She said that adapting a business to its environment is important.

“This is an award of high merit which embraces diversity in the work place. We live and operate in a diverse environment and it is critical to our business to be equally diverse.”

The Div100 is the 7th annual listing of Florida’s top 100 diversity-owned businesses, ranging in revenue size from US$1 million to over $174 million.

Commenting on the success of the organisation throughout the years Mr Hamaty said that a multitude of areas have contributed to the company’s achievements.

“The success of our company can be attributed to a number of factors such as the hard work, dedication and support of our staff, consistently high quality and excellent products and top level marketing and promotions.”



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