TORTUGA International Holdings Limited has opened its first Jamaican store on the Falmouth Pier.
The wholly-owned outlet marks a change from the strategy of distributing its products through a network of other retailers on the island.
The pier proved an ideal location for the 395-square-foot store because of the heavy port traffic and brisk kiosk sales at other distributors, said company's chief executive Marcus Simmonds.
The Falmouth Pier has become the busiest port in Jamaica and is one of the busiest on the western itinerary, Simmonds said.
It provides an opportunity for the company to expand its reach to the more than 600,000 cruise ship passengers that come through the port every year.
He declined to comment on the cost of construction, but said that it was at a "substantial" sum and that the company — a nominee for last year's Jamaica Observer Business Leader Award — plans to expand its retail distribution throughout Jamaica.
The Falmouth store's five staff members sell the full line of Tortuga Rum Cakes, Tortuga Rum, Blue Mountain Coffee, Caribbean sauces, chocolate, T-shirts and other souvenirs.
The development was described as a "win-win" by William Tatham, the vice-president of cruise shipping and marina operations at the Port Authority of Jamaica.
Both the pier and the company are directly involved in the "branded cultural and historical experience" on offer to visitors to our shores, he said.
Tortuga Rum Cakes has earned the Best Cruise Souvenir award from Porthole Cruise Magazine for eight consecutive years.
The shareholders of Tortuga CRC Jamaica Ltd, Tortuga Rum Company Ltd of the Cayman Islands, Tortuga Imports Inc, of Miami, Florida, and Tortuga Barbados/Baker's Choice consolidated their regional interests into the new international food group, Tortuga International Holdings, a member of the Jamaica Producers Ltd.