Business

Select Brands adds Tortuga, moves ahead of revenue target

Sunday, January 19, 2014    

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Select Brands Limited slipped ahead of its target to hit $1 billion in revenue by its fifth year of operation amidst adding Tortuga products to its line, management indicated.

The addition sees the wines and spirits distributor branch out into food distribution.

The company, which is co-managed by Andrew Desnoes and David McConnell, will exclusively handle the sales and marketing of Tortuga Rum Cakes and other Tortuga gourmet products across Jamaica starting February. The contract was previously held by coffee brand Country Traders.

"We are ahead of our revenue target set in November 2011 of about $1 billion in five years," said Desnoes in a phone interview with the Observer about sales projections at the private company which started just over two years ago.

He avoided revealing actual numbers but evidenced his claims by referencing recently acquired distribution deals including Rum Bar rum and now Tortuga.

"While others were complaining we had a booming year in 2013 and that is because we took on Rum Bar and our other brands were seeing double-digit growth," he reasoned about the company which distributes more than 400 products.

Select Brands started with four former managers of spirits conglomerate Lascelles deMercado and some 50 workers. It included McConnell, who managed the Global Marketing Division of J Wray & Nephew Limited; Desnoes, who managed the marketing department at Lascelles Wine and Spirits; Debra Taylor who managed imported wines, Lascelles Wines and Spirits; and Dominic Beckford, brand sales manager at J Wray and Nephew.

"We have always had the desire to move into other areas and now we are entering into specialty foods with Tortuga and they also have a line of rums as well," he said.

Desnoes believes that Select Brands can "unlock the potential" of the Tortuga brand in Jamaica. Tortuga Rum Cakes which are baked fresh daily in Montego Bay are made from a four-generation old family secret recipe.

"We are very excited to continue our journey in Jamaica with our new partners, Select Brands, and to bring an even wider range of our gourmet products to the island," said Marcus Simmonds, CEO of Tortuga International Holdings, Ltd in a media release on the deal.

Since it began operations in November 2011, Select Brands has expanded rapidly to become a known purveyors of spirits and wines. Select Brands handles brands as Santa Margherita, Robert Mondavi, Stolichnaya, Hpnotiq, Jim beam, Budweiser, El Dorado, Rum Bar Rum and Worthy Park range of products.

Tortuga International, founded in the 80s by Captain Robert Hamaty and wife Carlene, is part of the Jamaica Producers Group of companies with bakeries and operations in Grand Cayman, Jamaica, Barbados and the Bahamas. The company's product line is sold on nearly 100 cruise ships and at gift and specialty shops throughout North America and the Caribbean.

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