November 27, 2020

Tortuga honoured at business awards

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Marcus Simmonds, and Monique Hamaty-Simmonds with her father, Tortuga Rum Company founder Robert Hamaty at Jamaica Observer Business Awards.

Miami, Fla., – Marcus and Monique Simmonds, owners of Tortuga Rum Cake Company/Tortuga Imports, Inc. were honoured as finalists in the 2011 Jamaica Observer Business Leader Awards, held November 30 at the Jamaica Pegasus Hotel in Kingston. Started in 1996, this award programme has become Jamaica’s most prestigious and coveted business award. This year, the newspaper recognized eight entrepreneurs within the Jamaican Diaspora, who have made significant contribution to the economic development of their adopted country.

As finalists, the Simmonds’ success in building Tortuga Rum Cakes into a global product and international brand was featured in the Jamaica Observer profiled on television and radio and honored at the Jamaica Observer Business Leader Awards banquet.

“We are very honoured and humbled to be recognised along with such inspiring and successful fellow Jamaican entrepreneurs,” says Monique Hamaty-Simmonds, president and CEO of Tortuga Rum Cake Company. Her father, Robert Hamaty and his wife Carlene started the Tortuga Rum Company in Grand Cayman, B.W.I. in 1984 and later introduced the “Tortuga Rum Cake” baked from a generations’ old family recipe.

In 1997, Monique and Marcus, the company’s CFO, opened Tortuga Imports in Miami to bring Tortuga’s “taste of the Islands” to the American market.  Today, Tortuga Caribbean Rum Cakes are the # 1 export of the Cayman Islands and have been named “Best Cruise Souvenir” by Porthole Cruise magazine for seven consecutive years. Tortuga Rum Cakes are shipped to 70 countries, sold in gift and specialty food departments and gourmet stores throughout North America and the Caribbean and on over 100 cruise ships. The complete line of Tortuga Rum Cakes and Gourmet Products is available via mail order and online at

More than 500 distinguished patrons and a host of top business executives attended with Lowell Hawthorne of the Golden Krust Caribbean Bakery & Grill, Bronx, New York being named Business Leader of the Year. The Observer explained that by sharing this year’s nominees with the public and inviting them home to celebrate their success, the goal was to strengthen Jamaica’s business ties within the entire Diaspora community, and more specifically, sow the seeds for joint ventures and other entrepreneurial initiatives with operators of local businesses.

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