The amazing journey that became Bombarda Rum started a long time ago. Growing up in South Florida, I knew early on that I had a passion to succeed, but even more was my desire to explore the World! Growing up around the ocean, it was only natural that my adventures started as a surfer and a skier & snowboarder. I roamed the planet in search of the perfect wave or skiing that perfect slope. It was an unstoppable wanderlust. As I became older and had a family of my own, I began to spend more time with my father and our bond grew stronger.
My father, George was born in the Spring of 1919 in a small town in Rhode island, and was a dedicated navy man and later a postman. Unlike myself, he was the quiet type. He continued to work until he was 92 years old, and was always there for his family and his wife. He was well mannered and kind to all he came in contact with and kept that smile.
We all called him by his nickname “ Papa George’’. He inspired me to go forward, pursue my dreams, be brave, work hard, be honest with yourself and others. He would tell me stories of his war days, old friends and how he made it through all those difficult times. I vividly remember his other sayings such as: “When you’re going through hell, keep on going”, and “Never Complain, Never Give Up” to name a few of my favorites.
Always sharing unique rums, we would talk about our dreams of viewing wildlife in remote far away places & visiting new cultures. Never did I believe that one day, I would actually visit those places. Places like the Serengeti & the Mara in Africa, Hiking the Inca Trail in Peru, sailing and diving in the Galapagos Islands and even kayaking alongside whales in Antarctica.
Sadly, my father, “Papa George’’ surrounded by his family and I by his side, passed away in April 2020 at 101 years old. He left us graciously while never losing his smile and noble way. It was at that moment in time that I decided to dedicate Bombarda Rum to celebrate his life, his challenges, his old navy days, friends and a father and son bond!
Just before Papa George passed away, I happened to be stuck on a new expedition ship isolated in the Falkland Islands because of Covid outbreak. This was after 15 amazing and memorable days exploring Antarctica. I would hear my dad whispering in my ear: Never Complain, Never Give up - keep going !!!. Sadly, I was only able to speak with him once while at sea in Antarctica. That last phone call was a sad moment for me as Papa George climbed the stairway to heaven three days later.
So like many inspired entrepreneurs, I set a course to craft a revolutionary rum and dedicate the brand to life’s victories & to the father & son union! Let’s embrace those brave spirited heroes in our life, like Papa George, who truly fought the fight & gave all he could.
To Papa George, I say Victori Spolia ! He will know what that means being an old italian, and until I see you on the other side, I’ll keep a glass of rum at my table, just for you dad!
Love your son, Captain James
” Jimmy Papa ”