I’m on the ferry, back to San Juan. I take out my iPad again and browse my notes. I’ve interviewed a lot of brands over the past 10 years. But the best stories come from family-owned companies like Bacardi.
The greatest advantage of a family-owned company is that they’re in it for the long term. None of the family members are interested in short-term benefits. It means all decisions are based on creating long-term stakeholder value instead of short-term shareholder value.
Just before I left Casa Bacardi, Joaquin opened a cupboard behind his desk and took out a bottle. “Here,” he said, “I want you to have this. It’s some of the best rum we have, Reserva Limitada, that has been aging for 12 years.
“Thank you very much,” I replied. “But I don’t drink alcohol.”
“This is not for drinking… this is Reserva Limitada, the best of the best. This is for sipping,” he adds with a smile. Adios amigo, buen viaje.”
I thanked him and shook his hand, turned around and left the office. Next I took a taxi and boarded the ferry to San Juan.
I have a last look at Casa Bacardi. “Wouldn’t it be great to do a search on the Bacardi roots in Cuba,” I think out loud. “I wonder when the next plane for Havana leaves?”
Author ‘Around the World in 80 Brands’
Tags: Meeting Joaquin Bacardi, Joaquin Bacardi, Joaquin, Bacardi, Around the World in 80 Brands, CoolBrands, Storytelling, CoolBrands Storytelling, Puerto Rico, Meeting Joaquin Bacardi in Puerto Rico, San Juan, Casa Bacardi, Rum, Ron, the Bacardi Company