Richland Rum Ages Well in Georgia

“Not only has the local community rallied around us, but the State’s small businesses resources have been critical to our success. We’ve become a tourism destination, reached new international markets, worked with national media outlets and much more.”

– Erik Vonk, Owner and Founder, Richland Rum

Originally from Holland, Erik and Karin Vonk dreamt of producing their own rum the authentic way. Georgia provided everything they needed from the land to grow sugarcane and the strategic partnerships to grow and expand their business.

With the help of state and local officials, the Vonks were able to locate a facility in downtown Richland, find a distributor, and build a successful nationwide business. Today, Richland Rum performs tours and tastings six days a week; welcomes nearly 4,000 visitors a year; reaches seven international markets; and is expanding to a second location on the Georgia coast, where they will serve more than 50,000 visitors a year.


  • Assistance in locating a facility and finding a distributor
  • Tourism, agribusiness and trade partnerships
  • International export assistance to 7 international markets
  • Support in expanding to a second location


  • Good Food Awards, Winner, 2016
  • Declared “America’s best aged rum” by the Rum Gallery, May 2015
  • Los Angeles International Spirits Awards, Gold medal recipient, 2015
  • The Fifty Best Aged Rums, Gold medal recipient, 2015
  • International SIP Awards, Gold medal recipient, 2014
  • Beverage Tastings Institute, Gold medal recipient, 2014
  • “Flavor of Georgia”, Winner, 2014
  • Recognized internationally with medals from Spain, Hong Kong and St. Maarten in the Dutch Caribbean
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