Scotts Point a testament to American dream

Published 11:37 pm Sunday, January 15, 2017

BATH — Toni Jenner is living the American dream.

She has two sons John and Rory and a husband Robert who works at PotashCorp-Aurora. Right there at the Jenner home property, though, is where the magic happens.

Step into an unusual box of a building, built almost completely with steel welded together, and one comes face to face with a small distillery — pure alcohol dripping straight from the distiller and barrels of rum aging in a back room.

The family built Scotts Point Distillery from the bottom up, first doing research on producing liquor, then securing a building fit for the distillery and perfecting the taste of the rum, according to Jenner. Her brother-in-law also played a role in getting the business on track.

“It was just something different, and you know, we live right in the middle of pirate country here,” she said. “We wanted to show the boys they didn’t have to do the mainstream stuff to make a living.”

Alcohol also offers a stable market. With Scotts Point’s first product, Pamlico Rum, starting out in 2012, the economy was still struggling, so Jenner said the family wanted to create a product applicable to any market.

“When the times were bad, there’d be alcohol. When the times were good, there’d be alcohol,” she said.

Aging for two years in oak barrels, Pamlico Rum is a smooth, light-colored rum, made with products almost entirely American, according to Jenner.

A few years in, it’s just Jenner now: her brother-in-law moved away and her husband’s regular job takes up most of his time. Jenner said she can spend up to 12 hours in the distillery a day — “a big waiting game” as she calls it.

Jenner said this past month is the first one that Pamlico Rum was on shelves, and she was pleased with the start of it.

But the key to Pamlico Rum is starting small. The Jenners have worked to gain support around Beaufort County and are slowly pushing outward. They also kept initial costs to a minimum so as to break even within the business’ first several years, Jenner said.

“You have to jump through the hoops, and it seems like when you get one hoop done, there’s five more,” she said of the process. “It is sometimes a challenge trying to get people to convince them to carry us because we are a new product.”

“We’ve been really lucky to get the support down here in Bath,” Jenner added.

By building a strong, local foundation, Pamlico Rum has the tools to grow, and that’s what Jenner wants for her American dream.

In the future, Jenner said she hopes to expand the facility and have a larger distilling capability.

For more information about Pamlico Rum, visit