Island Cane: a brand new rum of St. Martin


Since the Island Cane premises inauguration on Saturday, July 15 at Hope Estate, the Island of Saint-Martin now has its own rum. "Each island in the Caribbean has its rum but here there was only a production of “rhum arrangé”." What gives legitimacy to this product is that the island used to be a land of cane,"noted Olivier Klein, one of the two founders. After six months of work, the first batch is available for sale.

Based on his experience in the assembly of rosé, including the creation and marketing of Rosé Chic, Olivier Klein, is the "cook". His job is to "take different products, mix them with different percentages for more roundness or nose. His partner, Christophe Louis, selects and buys the various rums in the Caribbean before they are assembled by Olivier Klein.

They do not want to disclose the name of the producers with whom they have chosen to work, only the source: Guadeloupe and Marie-Galante "essentially". "Keeping our recipe secret is the best way to avoid forgery" says Christophe Louis. Olivier Klein asserts that "these are only French rums, we really want it absolutely" and he insists on their trace-ability. Island Cane for now comes in five products: two molasses tradition and gold rums that are rather cocktail rums, and three agricultural rums: one reaches 50 °, a V.O of 3 years and an X.O. -  10,12 years.

They target a wide stretching customer-base, from small shops and grocery stores in the retail industry, hotels and restaurants and even individuals who can come in and buy at their  depot at Hope Estate. To reach profitability, they will have to sell at least 2400 liters per month. "We did not carry out any market research. This is quite a gamble "says Olivier Klein who however has a good knowledge of the environment.

The workshop where all rums are assembled, bottled and labeled is adjoined to the depot. Barriques cover the back wall. They retain the old rum "to yield 15,000 liters of extra old Ron within 5 to 7 years" says Olivier Klein for whom the Island Cane rum is "a business that is expected to last for a long time”. The obvious reason is that both partners will communicate internationally and are already willing to participate in the Duty Free Orlando Show next spring. They consider that as "first “rhum non arrangé” of the island", their product is willing to be exported.

Fanny Fontan