Rockpool Rum Co-Founder Penny Cox

Published by The Rumlab ago about the Rockpool company

Rockpool Rum Co-Founder Penny Cox article cover image

Penny is one of 4 co-founders of Rockpool Rum (company name Spirit & Soul Pte Ltd). Born in Australia, grew up in Europe, and now living in Singapore with her family.

“I’ve been working in eCommerce for the majority of my career, with a particular focus on Food and Drinks and Sustainability. We dreamed up Rockpool about 4 years ago and it’s been a lot of hard work (and a lot of fun) bringing our dream to life”, she said.

Learn more about Penny, in the next interview:

TRL: What does the rum mean for you? What made you fall in love with rum and when did it happen?

When you open a bottle of rum, it lifts the mood and a good time is guaranteed – it reflects people’s love for life and spontaneity.

TRL: Three essential characteristics that define the rum according to your perspective.

Rockpool Rum is a versatile, easy-drinking rum. This is a rum for everyone, not just connoisseurs. The rum is very smooth and has a well-balanced flavor profile. It’s dangerous because it’s very easy to finish the bottle in one sitting.

TRL: What is the most important contribution you have made to the rum industry?

We’re still at an early stage, but our ambition is to make more people care about rum again. People still associate rum with being old-fashioned – with pirates and old men. But it can also be modern and classy.

TRL: Benefits that the rum industry has given you.

In our start-up journey, people have welcomed us with open arms. Everyone we have met in the industry has been generous with advice, guidance, and support. As industry outsiders, this has been very valuable to us and helped us to find our feet and our niche in the industry. In particular, we’ve found that the bar and restaurant scene (particularly against the backdrop of covid) has been very collaborative and so many people have helped us by making introductions and becoming advocates for our product.

TRL: What´s another thing you are passionate about, in addition to rum? Why?

Travel and adventure have always been important to me. Our founders come from 3 different countries and we have enjoyed traveling the world together. The Rockpool brand came from our memories of leaping from rocks into the clear, fresh waters of rock pools in Australia. That should be on everyone’s bucket list. We’re thankful that travel is starting to return and we can start to take Rockpool around the world with us as we travel.

TRL: What is your favorite place for drinking rum?

In the open-air with friends, and with a great soundtrack – on a deck, on a beach. It’s not so much where you drink it but who you drink it with.

TRL: Favorite drink + Recipe

We love the Old Cuban – despite the old-fashioned-sounding name, it’s one of our favorites. We also created a drink that brings out the vibe of Rockpool called a Sunset Splash (in a double rock glass over ice):

- 30ml Rockpool Rum

- 30ml Aperol

- 20ml Pink Grapefruit Juice

- 15ml Lemon Juice

- 10ml Simple Syrup

- 4 dashes of Chocolate Bitters

TRL: Why is it important to educate the rum consumer?

The average spirits consumer still has the wrong perception of rum, and they also don’t know how to drink rum. They need to experience how versatile rum can be: drunk neat, in a cocktail, with a mixer (we encourage people to be more imaginative than rum and coke – we love a rum and tonic), so they can start to truly appreciate the spirit.

TRL: Is the commitment to sustainable development the key to success for the permanence of the rum industry in the world? Why?

Sustainability is very important to us as a company. From the outset, we have built giving back into our business model and we’re proud to be members of 1% For The Planet where we donate 1% of our revenue to support causes that are important to us: climate change and ocean conservation.

TRL: Who would like to meet in the rum industry? What would you say to him/her?

We are just starting in our journey and we’d love to learn from industry experts and veterans. Someone like Richard Seale from Foursquare in Barbados – born into a family of distillers, he almost has rum flowing through his veins!  If we could have a drink with him we’d ask for his best piece of advice for someone new entering the industry  – and where is rum headed?

TRL: What are your next goals in the rum industry?

We want to take Rockpool global! We have launched only in Singapore for now because that’s where we are based, but we think Rockpool will have global appeal.

TRL: Why is the role of the bartender important in the rum industry?

They are the ones in direct touch with guests and can give advice and collect feedback. Our connections in the bar industry and between bartenders have been invaluable. Bartenders offer up so much advice from introductions to serving suggestions, to events. We are so grateful for all the support we have found from bartenders and will do all we can to support them in return.

TRL: What is your advice for new generations in the rum industry?

We are the new generation and we’re looking for all the advice we can get!

TRL: How can people learn more about you? Website? Social media page?