• Anna Sulan Masing

Interview: Ian Burrell


Ian is a renowned rum expert and ambassador who launched a new rum brand Equiano this year.


We decided to start this audio series to gave us a space to speak to one person, and look at a specific aspect / idea / product / expertise. This interview was a perfect opportunity to be so specific!


I had heard about Equiano very briefly in summer of 2020 and it was on my radar to investigate further. In this interview I ask Ian about how the rum was created - it is made from two distilleries, one in Mauritius and one in Barbados, which represents a history of rum separate from the white-washed history more commonly known about the spirit - and how they planned to grow as a business. Equality and diversity is at the heart of the brand as is storytelling; I wanted to find out how they balanced the difficult history of rum with celebration of their work and the drink's namesake Olaudah Equiano.


There were some slight tech issues - so there is a little delay between some of the question and answers!


In the interview we talk about the story of the bottle and that plays a part in the storytelling. I would also have a look at Equiano's website, which I thought was put together very thoughtfully. I think marketing it is a very interesting thing to keep in mind when talking about sourcing, and to keep in mind the importance of words and stories at every juncture of the chain.


Below: Foursquare distillery in Barbados, and Grays & Co in Mauritius



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