From a working mother of two young children who created gourmet flavored rhum in her home kitchen, to the devastating tragedy that took the lives of their friends and business partners who helped grow the company, the taste and story of Topper’s Rhum is extraordinary. Unlike most spirits, Topper’s Rhum was not created by a corporation, and our company is not run by some huge conglomerate with no personal connection to the brand. Instead, it is family owned and operated. Topper’s Rhum is about celebrating loving families, wonderful friendships and triumph over tragedy. It’s about transforming dreams into realities so that legacies may live on forever.
Topper and Melanie Daboul live on the Dutch or southern side of St. Maarten where they own two restaurants, Topper’s Restaurant & Bar and Topper’s by the Sea. They started making all natural flavored rhums (the French spelling of rum) for their restaurants so that they could give a complimentary after dinner drink to their guests. These rhums are based on Melanie’s concoctions that she has been perfecting since 1994. The customers fell in love with their creations. They constantly asked if they could bottle their world famous rhum so that the patrons could take it home and share it with their friends. They quickly went from fulfilling individual requests to producing a supply for the restaurants and local stores out of their home kitchen.
Early in 2012 a discussion with their good friends Mike and Thelma King led to the formation of a partnership. Their vision was to build a distillery to produce Topper’s Rhum and to distribute the products throughout the world. They also had a common goal that involved giving back a portion of the proceeds from the sale of the rhum to help underprivileged children and battered women.
Working as a team, everything was in place and was proceeding as planned, when tragically, on September 19th, 2012, just before the distillery became operational, Mike and Thelma were killed during a random robbery in their home. Fortunately, within a few days, their attackers were caught and have since been prosecuted. Their surviving siblings, who reside in S.C. and N.C., decided as a family that Topper's Rhum should carry on in honor of Mike and Thelma's legacy. Along with Topper and Melanie, they are all determined to see that their dreams become a reality.
One of Mike’s brothers, Todd, took over his role in the company, and it wasn’t long before the first bottle of rhum was produced in the distillery on November 1st, 2012. It was a triumphant moment that was filled with tears and quiet joy. On every bottle of Topper’s Rhum, there are two signatures: one is Topper’s, which represents his family, and the other is Mike’s, which represents him, Thelma and their families.
On November 9th, 2012, the Mike & Thelma King Foundation was established to benefit citizens of the United States and St. Maarten whose families experience similar tragedies as well as underprivileged children and battered women. On December 15, 2012, Topper’s Rhum became St. Maarten’s only exported product. By January 2013, Topper’s Rhum appeared on store shelves in Charleston, South Carolina, Mike and Thelma’s hometown. It is now being distributed throughout the United States and other countries.
Topper’s Rhum was submitted to the two most prestigious rum tasting contests in the world and won Gold in both competitions as well as winning more medals than any of its competitors.
When you taste Topper’s Rhum, we hope that you’ll become a special part of our family, one that is dedicated to celebrating the lives of friends and family while helping others who are in need. Please spread the word and share Topper’s Rhum with your friends and families so that others may have the opportunity to experience its uniqueness. Our families thank you for your continued support and for helping to keep the dream alive!