Sarina's Sugar Shed makes huge profit from rum
THE region's love for rum is on a roll.
The Sarina Sugar Shed has had a bumper start to the new year.
Batch No 3 of Sugar Shed Rum has generated $10,500 in revenues since its release for sale last November.
That was one of the findings from Mackay Regional Council's monthly community and client services report discussed at yesterday's council meeting.
Special mention was made of the volunteers at the Sugar Shed during the meeting.
Gift shop sales and profits from hosting tours were also up.
More than 700 hampers were put together by the volunteers, increasing sales from $3900 in 2013 to $12,950 in 2014.
Tourism and economic development councillor Greg Martin said the attraction had been underused for many years.
He said the council was about to launch an aggressive advertising campaign to help raise awareness of the local tourism gem.
"It has won several regional tourism awards and it was nominated for the State Tourism awards, so it's drawing attention now," he said.
"It's a wonderful asset for our region."
The council had also approved funding for the facility to purchase a new copper still to make a premium rum product.
"At first we didn't know it would be a profit-raising venture," he said.
"But we have got them a new still now."
Cr Martin was at the site when the very first batch of rum was ready to be tasted.
He said he could recommend it.
"There is a little bit of animosity towards Bundaberg Rum because it's owned overseas," he said.
"But in our community we have a local distillery making rum."