Shop ‘Til You Drop
Want to do some cooking of your own during your stay in Barbados? Perhaps you want a few snacks to see you through the day?
Rest assured, there’s plenty of supermarkets and convenience stores on the island for groceries, household items, or just a quick snack for the road.
For snacks like sandwiches, fresh bread, canned food, and milk, you can stop at any of the rum shops or convenience stores island-wide.
For healthier snacks, various health food shops can cater to your needs. You’ll also find raw and roasted peanuts on sale from street vendors dotted all over the island or salted nuts, sweetbreads, and other such snacks in gas stations island-wide.
If you’re coming to Barbados on a self-catering holiday or seeking to stay longer-term, then you will need to find a supermarket to buy your groceries and other essential living items.
You will find most of the larger shops and supermarkets on the west, south, and southeast coasts of the island.
In St. Philip, you’ll find a large shopping complex at a place called Six Roads. There’s also a supermarket there called Emerald City, which has a good selection of meat, dairy, and general dried goods.
For larger supermarkets, look no further than the chain of Massy Stores on the island. These stores are always well stocked with lots of imported brands, as well as locally made products.
You’ll find the biggest Massy Store on the island located at Warrens on the ABC highway with an excellent selection of cheeses and fresh meat.
In Worthing in Christ Church, you’ll find a Big B Supermarket, also part of the Massy Stores chain. This store also has a wide selection of goods, especially if you are looking for specific products for a recipe or imported products. There’s also a news agency where you can find magazines, greetings cards, and stationery.
Just on from Big B, up Rendezvous Hill, you’ll find JB’s Supercentre in Sargeants Village.
There’s another outlet in Holetown – this branch caters to the ex-pats, and therefore you’ll see a lot of English brands for sale here.
In Oistins, you’ll find a smaller Massy Stores; however, it still has most things like fresh fruit, vegetables, meat, dairy, and essential household provisions.
Note: Some locals still refer to Massy Stores as Supercentres or Big B; however, the name officially changed over in 2014. For more information, visit https://www.massystoresbb.com/.
Another chain of supermarkets on the island is Trimart. These stores have a good fruit and vegetable section as well as all the necessities, and it’s reasonably priced. You’ll find stores in Worthing, Haggatt Hall, St. Martins and Mile and a Quarter.
Just on the outskirts of Bridgetown, in Fairchild Street, there’s Jordan’s Supermarket. You will find the prices here very reasonable compared with other supermarkets and many locals also shop here.
Tip: Jordan’s supermarkets also located in Fitts Village in St. James, Speightstown in St. Peter, and Baxters Road in Bridgetown, St. Michael.
In Black Rock and Collymore Rock, both in St. Michael, you’ll also find the smaller Channell Supermarket – another budget-conscious supermarket.
Also located in Black Rock is Carlton Supermarket. Carlton, like many of the larger supermarkets in Barbados, has an extensive array of local and imported foods. Within the Carlton supermarket complex, is also home to its bakery, deli, and pharmacy, along with several other businesses, including clothing and beauty supply stores, a bingo lounge and arcade, and a bank.
In St. Lawrence Gap, there’s a great convenience store called Dover Market, where you can buy fresh vegetables, fresh meat, and a variety of ‘holiday’ essentials like sunscreen.
Hint: The majority of products sold in Barbados come from overseas; therefore, you may find the prices slightly higher than what you are used to paying. You may wish to buy local produce where possible, as this is significantly cheaper. Try Cheapside Market in Bridgetown for great local food at great prices.
What About Buying In Bulk?
You’ll find a PriceSmart store in Warrens in St. Michael selling goods in bulk – cost-effective if you are self-catering for a large group. You pay a joining membership fee of $50BBD, but you’ll save a lot of money, especially if you’re doing a big shop here.
There’s also a ShopSmart store that sells bulk items. Here you’ll find imported goods, dried foods, and household appliances, among other things. Membership is $30BBD, and there are stores located in Brittons Hill and Bridgetown in St. Michael, as well as Holders Terrace in St. James.
Recently opened in Welches, St. Thomas, CostULess boasts a wide variety of shopping options from food items to electronic devices. Just like PriceSmart and ShopSmart, CostULess mainly sells items in bulk, with a few exceptions, like fresh produce. There is a membership option available, but it is not essential when purchasing items.
Cash Or Credit?
If you shop in rum shops, the method of payment is generally cash, but they do accept both US dollars and Barbados dollars.
If you shop in one of the island’s supermarkets, you can generally pay by cash, credit card, some debit cards, and local cheques. At Supercentre stores, they’ll also accept any currency of money.
And, don’t forget, if you’re presenting a cheque or using a debit/credit card, you’ll need to show a photo ID.
Tip: Many stores in Barbados are closed on Sundays – be sure to check the opening hours of each store before heading out on your shopping spree.
By: Brett Callaghan