Black-owned rum brand 10 To One is reintroducing rum to the spirit industry with an elevated taste and a new face. Founded by Marc-Kwesi Farrell, the brand recently partnered with Ciara as an investor and co-owner who will help direct the brand’s future.
Farrell created 10 To One in June 2019 and the spirit maker has become the leading rum household name around the globe. Farrell’s ultimate goal is to make rum a leisure indulgence that is capable of becoming a staple in luxury and casual drinking.
“I was born and raised in Trinidad and Tobago, but I’ve lived in the U.S. now for just over 20 years,” the Black-owned rum brand owner told Travel Noire. “There is such a unique opportunity to kind of shine a different light and tell a different story about the spirit and share it in a way that is a bit more authentic to who I am and where I come from.”
The Caribbean-born founder is aiming to change the narrative that rum is a cheap alcoholic beverage that you buy to get a sweet hint of party culture. He knows that the legacy of rum is so closely tied to his Caribbean heritage and people that he must reimagine the way people consume the spirit. He knows 10 To One takes on a much more contemporary approach to rum and wants consumers to feel inspired drinking his product.
“I think for a lot of consumers, for a long time, they’ve looked at rum as this somewhat kitschy [beverage]. Low-end narratives, pirates and plantations [are] really sort of the defining narrative of rum. Folks still have PTSD from their old spring break moments, and really, I think I am kind of resolving to try to find a way to change that perspective.”
The title of the Black-owned rum, 10 To One, pays homage to Marc’s cultural roots, with his community and local support being the main factor of why the rum brand has been so successful. Especially knowing the (West Indies) Caribbean Federation consisted of 10 countries.
“The idea of 10 becoming one came from the Trinidad prime minister at the time,” the Caribbean native stated. “His name was Dr. Eric Williams, and he famously said one from 10 equals zero. He was really making the point that if you remove one from the collective, the whole thing falls apart. So we like to use that as a reference point of inspiration for 10 to one as being a brand that is grounded in this idea of community strength in numbers, the idea that we’re all stronger together than we are apart. So that’s really kind of the grounding ethos behind the name.”
The new partnership with Ciara is rooted in Marc-Kwesi Farrell’s friendship with the singer. He believes that her identity compliments the sentiments that stand behind 10 To One.
“She’s an amazing person, and she’s an incredible force of nature. I think she is emblematic of so many of the elements of the brand that we want to kind of build on. She’s optimistic. I think there’s a lot of resonance in the story of 10 To One that I think she found pretty immediately as well. So whether it’s those opportunities to really reshape the narrative around rum introduced to different locations, different places and spaces. You know, take it away from the pirates sometimes and make it a little more contemporary, make it a bit sexier, as she would say.”
Ten To One offers a premium selection of dark and white rums. The prices for the beverages start at $36.99 and can be purchased via: shoptentoone.com.
10 To One is currently available for purchase in stores nationwide as well as in Trinidad and Tobago where Farrell grew up.