Our history started in the year of 1896 when the firm Senior & Co, founded by Haim Mendes Chumaceiro ( also known as Shon Inchi) and his business partner Edgar Senior, operated a drugstore on Curacao called ‘Botika Excelsior’. The walls of that botika witnessed the beginning of it all when Chumaceiro started producing an “aperitif” or “digestive”, using the recipe of his family and naming it Senior’s Curacao Tonic. They quickly changed the name to Senior’s Curacao Liqueur.
By the year 1900, After the passing of Chumaceiro, his widow continued his legacy at her home but in modest quantities. It was not until 1945 that the company started getting its shape. The present firm of Senior & Co. was incorporated, and the descendants of the Senior and Chumaceiro families, plus several of the larger business enterprises on the island held its shares. At the same time, the new company purchased the recipe from the widow Chumaceiro.
Our Jewish heritage lies in the fact that both our founders were Jewish. They were one of the Sephardi Jews that once came to Curacao and that to this day, still have a prominent place in the island’s history. Sephardi Jews are Spanish descendant from the 12th century who lived in Spain when it was still half Christian, half Arab. After turbulent years of religious prosecution in Spain, and later in Portugal, many had to leave these countries. Since freedom of religion was of paramount importance in the Netherlands, many established themselves in Amsterdam.
After the Dutch colonized Curacao, they offered many incentives to trigger families to move to Curacao. The interest was minimum but in the end, several Jewish families decided to move. They started successful retail businesses and the community grew more and more.