With a long-standing legacy of fine product, a 5 out of 5 star rating from UK based online retailer The Whiskey Exchange, and a clear place in rum’s hall of fame, you’d think that the Takamaka team could rest in the knowledge that they were doing a sterling job.
But like all premium brands – and most family businesses – the job is never done, and behind the beautiful bottles and smooth taste of the Seychelles, the d’Offay brothers and their exceptional team, continue to go beyond the call of duty to uphold the Takamaka name and the title of The Spirit of The Seychelles
Operating since 2002, the Takamaka team faces challenges that most of their big label competitors will never understand. Beyond the imagine constraints of operating in what is classified by the UN as a ‘global South’ or ‘fragile economy’ nation, the Takamaka team must also source many of their raw materials for production and packaging from outside the country. That means, one error from someone ordering stock means a delayed shipment and (excuse the pun), something of a bottleneck. Paired with these, food security efforts by the Seychellois government mean that any government allocated agricultural land which could potentially used for sugarcane, must always be prioritized for food crops – making it even more tricky to make sure that sweet after-dinner cocktail gets to the table at all.
Despite these challenges, the talent of Takamaka have worked tirelessly to ensure that like many other business which grow and quickly die under the Seychelles sun, they have survived 15 years and counting. Strenghtened by family ties, recipes dating back two generations to their grandfather, and a keen sense of the challenges and opportunities the business presents, the Takamaka team, which consists of just 45 staff members continues to churn out over 40 000 cases of fine island rum every year. And they’re not trying to compete with the big international hitters in terms of numbers, but rather instill or rather distill, a keen sense of quality with every bottle that reaches the customers.
The business has chosen to go against the grain of hiring in purely expatriate labour, which many businesses on the archipelago because of the serious skills crisis which the Seychelles faces. Rather than turn against the nation, the d’Offay brothers honour the contribution of local people by hiring and upskilling them, and giving them an opportunity to work with a now international operation.
Most inhabitants of the area would otherwise have to travel an hour by bus to the capital, Victoria, a trip which takes up time and a significant chunk of the money they make working in the public sector, or as part of the on-again, off-again tourism industry.
And the effects of this investment into people really shows. Countless visitors, rum enthusiasts and tourists flock to La Plaine St Andre, the home ofTakamaka Rum to participate in the distillery tours, where holidaymakers can sample the best of Takamaka’s service, quality and dedication to people.
Over the next few months, we’ll be speaking to some of the talent behind the Takamaka brand.
Stay tuned to our blog for updates.