HISTORY – Rhum Clément


Homere Clément purchases Domaine de l’Acajou at the peak of the sugar crisis. Homère Clément was a prevalent member of the Martiniquean community and the mayor of Le Francois. He is thought to have been the first Black person to receive his doctorate in medicine in France, after which he returned to Martinique to practice both medicine and politics.
Homère Clément becomes mayor deputy of Martinique following the disastrous eruption of Mt. Pelée that same year that killed 30,000 people. He would hold this position from 1902 until 1906. By combining this influence with innovative thinking, he manages to save the Martinique economy, which has been severely struggling since the collapse of sugar commerce. He encourages the production of rum from sugarcane juice rather than molasses, cutting out the sugar production process and directly utilizing a crop that is already thriving on the island that would otherwise go to waste. This earns him his nickname the “God-Father of Rhum Agricole.”
Driven by the war effort, Homere Clément opens a distillery called Habitation Clément on the land of Domaine de l’Acajou. This distillery becomes a producer of world-class Rhum Agricole, and pulled Martinique out of its depression.
At the age of 71, Homere Clement dies in Paris. His son Charles, a talented distiller, then takes over the business.
Distillation moves from Habitation Clement to Distillery Simon, just down the street. This occured after Bernard Hayot saved the Clement legacy from bankruptcy. His brother, Yves Hayot, operated the Simon distillery and moved some production there. The Clément treasures, the Creole column stills, were moved to Simon, where they make rhum today.
The AOC (appellation d’orgine Contrôllée) for Rhum Agricole established. As is the case in most AOC specifications, these limitations were intended to include the most current production characteristics and ensure that rhum was produced in a manner that is true to the terroir of its agricultural product and origin.
Foundation Clement opens, featuring the only state of the art modern art gallery in the Caribbean. Over 170 Caribbean artists have already shown their works at this stunning contemporary art center designed by Reichen et Robert & Associés and rebuilt from the old vat room, whose metal structure was preserved.