Written By: Leopard Seal
While searching the Internet for Black-owned spirit companies I came across a list called, “Twenty Black Owned Spirit Brands You Should Know.” On the list are seventeen wine, two vodka, and one corn whiskey companies that the Internet scribe feels you should know about. Though I’m sure they did their research, there is not one rum maker on the list and Devil’s Reef Rum is a spirit brand you should know about.
Devil’s Reef Rum is a cinnamon-flavored rum, created by brothers Troy and Kieron Bigby, who were inspired by their mother Larue to get into the liquor mix. Kieron Bigby says, “Devil’s Reef was a labor of love initiated by my brother, Troy and solidified by our mother, LaRue Bigby. Our mother created the environment for our project by consistently checking in to ensure that we were focused on bringing the project to life. I had prior experience with a major spirits importer but had never created a brand from scratch. An abundance of research, meetings, and a trial later, we had a product. My brother’s desire to create an adult beverage was truly the catalyst for Devil’s Reef. He was committed to developing a spirit and remained steadfast in his pursuit of my partnership. He was the engine that made this happen,” Kieron said
The brothers’ dream was made almost surreal because real products take real cash for research and development, something the brothers didn’t have a ton of. As the trite phrase goes, “Team work made the dream work,” and they figured out that beyond anything else the “Rum” is what mattered. “The most challenging part to get to the bottle from ideation was matching our vision with our wallet. Limited funds for R&D. Limited funds for marketing and promotion. Limited funds for materials. Limited funds, period. We knew that we had to have the “magic” in the bottle. We dedicated our efforts to creating what is in the bottle,” said Kieron wisely.
The Bigby’s perseverance and dedication paid off, and the product came to fruition. Devil’s Reef is one of the only Black-owned rum companies in America but It’s not just a novelty shop, the Bigby’s have made a product that tastes great and is viable in the spirit marketplace. “The response has been tremendous. Everyone who has tried Devil’s Reef has loved it. We have suggested several different ways to enjoy drinking the rum, in bar ads, on social media, and on the website (www.thedevilsreef.com), and ALL the recipes have been successful. We pride ourselves on its versatility; though cinnamon enhanced, it performs like a light rum when mixed,”
The future for Devil’s Reef looks deep and tasty, and with the brothers’ vision and continued follow-through there is no limit to what they will be able to do in the liquor marketplace. Who knows? Perhaps their future includes another product in the distant to near future. “Currently, we are looking to gain more accounts in NY and ND. We are in discussions to sell the brand in Florida. We would like to be excellent within these markets prior to moving on. Devil’s Reef demands our full attention, so we are dedicated to just this product at this time. We dream that we have the type of success that will afford the opportunity to create another spirit.,” Kieron said.