?Charles Tobias started Pusser's Rum over three decades ago and transformed it into a chain of restaurants, retail outlets and apparel.
by ?Jan Critchley
Charles Tobias is well known in the BVI for being the Founder and CEO of Pusser's Rum, the successful Pusser's chain of bars, restaurants and stores.
What is less widely known is that he was a fighter pilot and was shot down by enemy fire, has sailed around the world twice - for a time with a cheetah and a chimpanzee on board, and made a movie of his adventures at sea.
?Charles Tobias with one of his
many items of memorabilia
Above: ?Charles Tobias with one of his
many items of memorabilia
?When I met with him for the first time recently he
told me about how Pusser's
has evolved from the four-seater rum shop that he
started on Main Street in 1979 to the global business that he
About the early days, Charles
At the time The Hon. H. Lavity Stoutt was the Chief Minister and he
was regularly approached by people with business ideas.
told me that he
hoped that I would come through for him.
Some years later, and by this time a firm friend of mine, he
said to me, 'Chuck, you did it man!'
The stores are a big part of the Pusser's
operation, and the apparel and merchandising are something Charles
spends a lot of his
time on and is an area that is ripe for expansion.
Before crossing the Atlantic to Barbados, they made a stop in Gibraltar, where Charles met the Captain of a British warship and was given a one-gallon jug of
Looking for his
next enterprise, Charles
decided to resurrect the Royal Navy's rum tradition and planned to make it available commercially.
It was for his
charitable work and for the resurrection of the Royal Navy's rum tradition, that Charles Tobias
was recognized by the Queen in her
2011 Honors List by appointing him an MBE.
current project is the design of a new cocktail menu for his
restaurants with the phrase,
Excess on occasions is exhilarating.
It keeps moderation from becoming a habit!
When talking about the future, Charles
does admit to wanting to step back a little this year so that he
can spend more time with family and friends, travelling and writing two books, which he's
had outlined for years.
quite rightly says,
the clock hand turns...
However, home for him is here in the BVI
You soon realize after a short time with Charles Tobias
that this is a man who has lived life to the full, with a passion for adventure, a vision and an incredible amount of drive.
has danced to the beat of his
own drum in both his
professional and personal life.
office mirrors his
personality and is full of elements of his
life from clothing samples and menus to medals and engrossing memorabilia.