By Laurel Williams
A complete one-stop outlet which offers the sophisticated wine and spirits consumers a specialised shopping experience, supported by a very knowledgeable staff.
That is how Angostura CEO Genevieve Jodhan referred to Solera, the House of Angostura’s retail store. The second branch of Solera officially opened on January 25 at the C3 Centre, Corinth on the outskirts of San Fernando. The other outlet is at the corner of Tragarete Road and Gray Street, Port of Spain.
Jodhan told guests at the launch that the company, which is renowned for its iconic bitters created in 1824, is today on the move.
"We intend to become the most admired beverage company in the Caribbean and to do that we are continually re-assessing, expanding and innovating our product portfolio and our distribution channels. Solera is just one example of that forward-thinking mindset."
Jodhan explained the meaning of the word Solera, a process developed by the Spanish for ageing wine, sherry and spirits, like rum where younger wines are systematically blended with more mature wines. The finished product, she said, is an exquisite mixture of ages.
Among those at the opening were San Fernando Mayor Junia Regrello; San Fernando East MP Randall Mitchell; Trade and Industry Minister Paula Gopee-Scoon; former San Fernando mayor Kenneth Ferguson; the Mack family, founders of JT Allum and Company; and senior manager of Hospitality and Communications (Angostura) Giselle Laronde-West.
Jodhan said in the past six years Angostura launched four limited edition rums, including Legacy by Angostura, which is still the world’s most expensive rum, and Amaro di Angostura.
She said the company is expanding because of its consumers’ loyalty and the best time to invest is when an economy is contracting. "Our global business is growing. We also have to reinvest in Trinidad and Tobago, so we are not giving up on the country. We are a net foreign exchange earner, so we have been importing products. But we are not using up foreign exchange, we are actually bringing back some value here as opposed to receiving it."
Gopee-Scoon said the opening of Solera was a sign of good things to come. She complimented the company for it successes, saying it is all for the benefit of the people of the country.
"I am happy to know that you are reinvesting, and we look forward to you investing in new products as well. Company investments mean more profits, more profits mean more employment, greater profits also mean greater foreign exchange earnings," Gopee-Scoon said.