A Family Legacy in Sands Beer
A solid family legacy, a passion for the craft, and a commitment to hard work are how you can find yourself at the top of your industry.
That’s what happened for Gary Sands, one of the youngest leaders in the beverage industry in the world.
The Bahamian Brewery and Beverage Company Ltd. broke barriers in 2017 when Gary took the helm as General Manager at just 27. Since then, he’s overseen increased production of the company’s locally-made brands and brews. Additionally, he’s overseen the growth of the company’s distribution portfolio including Anheuser-Busch and most recently, Philip Morris International.
“I feel such a great sense of pride as I walk through our office every day knowing that we, Bahamians, are changing the beer industry in The Bahamas,” says Sands. “We’re bringing the industry back to Bahamian hands and proving that, yes, Bahamians have what it takes to compete on a global level.”
With a recent multimillion-dollar expansion of the brewery facility in Grand Bahama and a staff of over 150, Sands is poised to reach that global level. Sand’s father, the company visionary James “Jimmy” Sands remains as President, but several industry veterans who joined the company with him along the way have now retired. This paved the way for Gary and a new generation of bright, young leaders.
“One of the greatest feelings working at Bahamian Brewery and Beverage is doing what people said was the impossible,” Gary says, “By going against the second largest multi-national brewery in the world which produces competing beers in The Bahamas.”
A Family’s Dynasty
The Bahamian Brewery and Beverage Company has discovered the key components to maintaining a successful business for decades to come. It starts with the Sands dynasty – generations of entrepreneurs making their mark in The Bahamas since 1648.
Gary’s grandfather Everette Sands, the patriarch of Bahamian Brewery passed away this year at the age of 94, but he left a great legacy in the beverage industry for his descendants. A hard-working young man with a dream, Everette competed against the largest liquor business in The Bahamas, which was owned by a powerful politician in the country. Everette, like many an entrepreneur, created his first shipment in a garage. His sons John and James (Jimmy) helped their dad in his stores from a very young age, learning how to do everything from sweeping the floors to packing boxes.
When Jimmy launched Sands beer, he applied all of the life lessons his father had taught him. He, too, had to come up against a top-selling beer in The Bahamas. Jimmy’s Wines & Spirits liquor stores continue to grow, and now the Sands Beer family line includes Sands Regular, Sands Light, High Rock Lager, Sands Pink Radler, Strong Back Stout, Bush Crack, 66 Steps Ale, and Triple B malt drink.
“I love my new role in the company as General Manager,” says Gary, who, like his father, learned the business from the ground up. “The fast pace and ever-changing industry complements my constantly moving lifestyle.”
The Sands family has proven that a solid legacy built on hard work and sheer determination, along with a commitment to product value, staff and customer satisfaction, are the right ingredients to brew up a business that will stand the test of time.
Learn more about Sands Beer.
By Erin Brennan, Southern Boating April 2019