Shopping in the BVI
The hidden treasures
No Frames Frames

CocoLocosShop2.jpg (20267 bytes)
"Don’t be misled mister"

by outward appearances as great finds are made inside some shops with less than the polished exteriors of tourist shops elsewhere. The CocoLocos boutique on Jost Van Dyke (pictured here as a bit of history from 1998) is owned by Lorrin Callwood, a gifted craftsperson.

Distinctive Shops.
Blurb-MainStreetShops2.jpg (6374 bytes)While the BVI is not known as a shopper’s haven like St. Thomas, there are varied and distinctive shops due to a clientele from all walks of life with surprisingly affluent local and tourist customers (for example, yacht charterers are generally more affluent than cruise ship passengers) who appreciate the talents of BVI shopkeepers in supplying a range of tasteful and interesting merchandise.

Quality Merchandise.
The local Road Town shop, Sunny Caribbee, sells spices which are used by the BVI’s finest restaurants, including the prestigious Sugar Mill Restaurant, which has the choice of the world’s suppliers for this critical item to culinary success.

Art and Handicrafts.
The BVI is a great location to find interesting art from all over the Caribbean. Perhaps being in paradise, or simply the unquenchable love of life, has inspired these artists.

Island motifs, palettes, and iconographic influences from the myriad of cultures that the Caribbean, in its rich history as an international crossroads, beget themselves and intertwine in contemporary personalities, enriched by travel and interaction, before finally being realized in these products (or their selection), whether recipes, watercolors, or handcrafted jewelry.

Collections like Freddie’s at Josiah’s Bay Plantation Art Gallery reflect this abundance of source material, the setting itself in sugar mill ruins attests to the arrival of that magic hand, a state of grace sought in the art as an end in itself.

Clothing & Fabric.
This is a particular area where the appeal of the senses to exotic cultures result in purchases that enliven the travelers humdrum existence. There is no better momento of our travels than a t-shirt print or decorative household item, for instance.

Yet the proprietor Vivian Jenik Helm of Zenaida’s at Soper’s Hole searches Africa, South America and India for textile motifs for batiks, weaves, handpainted fabrics, and other distinctive goods such as scarves, sarongs and ethnic jewelry.

When Anesta Frett travels to her native Trinidad looking especially for her favorite handpainted items, it is her fashion sense, especially in exquisite women’s apparel, the blending of island romance with good taste that attracts the eye. See Anesta here in a fashion show at Foxy’s.

It is these personalities, their endeavors, and the resulting hidden treasures, like the islands themselves, that make browsing BVI shops such an adventure.

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