Eliodoro González P., born in Guarenas, Venezuela in 1871, was the creator of “Ponche Crema”. “He was an early-20th-century Caracas native, a chemist, a perfumist, an advertiser before advertising, a visionary”, all traits combined in one man. He founded his Licorería Central in the busiest commercial area of downtown Caracas. He was interested in chemistry, but then decided to create perfumes, and for this purpose, he established relations with the people of Jean Marie Farina in France.
In time, Eliodoro González P. began his grandiose work of experimenting with drinks made from local ingredients: he began to work with milk, adding eggs, adding sugar and mixing this naïve mixture with the purest grape alcohol. Today, it is one of the best kept industrial secrets in the world. This is how in 1900 something unique, unrepeatable and inimitable was born: PONCHE CREMA, the one and only, by Eliodoro González P. It was registered as a product of his own invention, and evidence was offered of its ingredients, purity and quality. It was in 1904 when Cipriano Castro, President of the United States of Venezuela, granted the patent in his own handwriting.
Ponche Crema became in those days the ideal drink for long friendly chats, for a distinguished guest and in general, for family enjoyment.
Eliodoro González P. went on long sea journeys. He traveled throughout America and Europe to show his wonderful Venezuelan creation. One by one, he visited the most prestigious food and drink competitions in the world. Ponche Crema was a sensation at the World Fair at Saint Louis, Missouri, the first fair to gather inventions and novelties of the 20th century. Likewise, the British awarded him the “Grand Prix” in London. It was warmly received at the International Maritime Exhibit at Bourdeaux and at the Food and Hygiene Exhibit in Paris.
One of the things that people loved about Ponche Crema was something they read on the first product label: “This drink can be stored for a long time at room temperature, therefore, it is suggested to chill only the amount that will be drunk. Store the bottle horizontally and shake it before using.”
Eliodoro González P. died on January 29th, 1923. He left us much more than a drink. From this great man, we inherited a grandiose tradition that represents us, a legacy of fulfilled dreams and of future possible achievements that only he could have envisioned more than a century ago. This inheritance is still present in every label of Ponche Crema, the one and only, by Eliodoro González P.
In 1946, there began what could be called the modern era of Ponche Crema. A strategic alliance was made between the Estate of Don Eliodoro and H.L. Boulton, a group specializing in the liquor market. This alliance was supported by the participation of prestigious investors, among them the Boulton family and Francisco Monteverde R. This association, unprecedented in the González family, would catapult the product and the company to production and commercialization levels never before reached. The first Ponche Crema industrial plant was created in Antímano, Caracas. The most sophisticated machinery and equipment available at the time were purchased, qualified personnel were hired and the company Eliodoro González P. Sucesores (Successors of Eliodoro González P.) became Compañía Anónima Ponche Crema, Sucesora de Eliodoro González P. Sucesores (Ponche Crema Corporation, a successor of the first company).
In 1995 the manufacturing areas and fill lines were increased and modernized with high technology. This allowed us to face the natural domestic demand of our products Ponche Crema and Café Crema, as well as that of potential export markets. This expansion also allowed for the production of similar categories of products for third parties, basically creams and sweet liquors.
1997 represented the formal beginning of a new stage in the international commercialization strategy of Ponche Crema which up to this year, had been distributed in international markets by third parties, in a rather informal manner.
In this new stage of Ponche Crema exports, we begin to see a significant interest in the product, and this is why today, we are present in the following markets: Dominican Republic, Costa Rica, Saint Marteen, Saint Thomas, Surinam, Antigua and Miami. In this last city we have our own offices, registered as Ponche Crema Trading Corp.
In the year 2000, a date that coincides with the one hundredth anniversary of the registry of Ponche Crema (August 23rd, 1900) by its inventor, Eliodoro González P., we carried out an important change of image in the product’s presentation.
In October 2000, C.A. Ponche Crema creates the Complejo Industrial Licorero del Centro C.A. (Central Liquor Industrial Complex), acquired through a negotiation with United Distillers and Vintners, today Diageo de Venezuela, with industrial installations that used to be called Industrias Pampero. As a product of this negotiation, important brands were acquired, among which stand Sagrada Familia, a traditional cooking wine, the sparkling wines La Española and Alexander and the rums Estelar and Ocumare, the last of which was re-launched four years ago in its tangerine and lime versions which complement the already known white and mature rums. Whisky liquors Country Club and Gold Member were also acquired.
This way, we have become one of the most important national liquor industries, a situation which entails encouraging sales expectations, given the competitive nature of our extraordinary portfolio of national products and of the great portfolio of imported brands we represent and commercialize in Venezuela. Among these are Undurraga wines, Lazo wines, Juve & Camps, Marqués del Puerto, Marqués del Riscal, Duval Leroy, Licor 43 and the prestigious Marie Brizard liquors.
In 2005, we take another important step for the company: the integration of C.A. Ponche Crema and Complejo Industrial Licorero del Centro, C.A. to form what we are today: Complejo Licorero Ponche Crema.
After one hundred years, and thanks to the vision of its creator, Eliodoro González P., Ponche Crema is still, more than ever, a product of exceptional quality, about to become a true tradition for more than four generations of Venezuelans.