CEO & Founder
For over two decades, Thomas Higbee has consistently delivered inspired ideas within the marketing realm, playing an instrumental role in the launch of over twenty distilled spirits. As Founder and Original Distiller of Solbeso, the first premium spirit made from the world’s finest cacao, Higbee’s passion for product and category innovation continues to flourish. Thomas serves as Chief Executive Officer of New World Spirits, a New York based incubation & importation company with a dedicated mission to create exceptional brands of lasting value, of which Solbeso is the first.
A storyteller by nature, Higbee draws insight from his background in advertising, design, eBusiness and brand strategy, as well as from his travels to more than 80 countries. His vision for Solbeso was cultivated while traveling through Tingo María, located in the highlands of northern Peru. While tasting a variety of cacao for a chocolate-related endeavor, he observed local farmers discarding nearly 70% of the cacao fruit after obtaining the beans for chocolate production. Higbee knew that there must be a better use for this delicious, natural and raw material.
With an avid hobbyist background in distillation, coupled with a keen sense of entrepreneurship, Mr. Higbee made the decision to embark on a quest to reclaim the tossed fruit, as a base distillate for a new type of spirit. This breakthrough spirit is Solbeso. His accomplished artistic and marketing background also fed into the conceptualization of the bottle design, crafted to reflect the essence of Solbeso – “kissed by the sun,” symbolic of the tropical climates in South America where Solbeso is created.
Previously, Higbee served as Managing Director for Mode Design Group and Director of Strategy & Innovation for Raison Pure, an international design agency. He is also the recipient of the prestigious Marketing Brilliance Award by global drinks giant, Diageo. Higbee is a graduate of The Tuck School of Business at Dartmouth and Penn State University. He resides in New York City.