, Salem, MA


December 5, 2012

Rum's the word

Childhood friends off and running with business after career changes


The business name comes from the street Parker and Perry grew up on: Turkey Shore Road.

After doing a little research, Perry discovered that his childhood home was the site of a Colonial-era rum producer. Ships would come in on the Ipswich River and unload molasses and other ingredients on a wharf, the stone remnants of which are still in the backyard of Perry’s parents’ house.

In Colonial times, the street was called Prospect Street and the shoreline was called Turkey Shore, he said.

With that in mind, Parker and Perry try to stick with Colonial methods, such as using molasses and oak barrels. Their two open-top fermenters are named John Heard and William Story Jr., the two original owners of the rum operation that ran from 1770 to 1836 at Turkey Shore.

“We’re trying to replicate what an old New England rum distillery would have worked like,” Perry said. “... (Owning this business) allows me to be the history geek that I wanted to be.”

The first two years have had their ups and downs, from learning the flux of the sales market to industry regulation and licensure. Yet, Perry says he doesn’t regret his job change.

“We get to meet interesting people, and at the end of the day, you make booze,” he said, breaking into a smile.

Bethany Bray can be reached at and on Twitter @SalemNewsBB.

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