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Groceries, Wine & Alcohol

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Apr 29th, 2010, 08:22 AM
  #1
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Groceries, Wine & Alcohol

Hello to all,
My partner and I are travelling to St. Lucia this summer. We are staying close to Rodney Bay in an apartment and we will be doing all our own cooking and shopping.
Can anyone tell us if there are any grocery stores close to this area that you can recommend? More importantly perhaps, are there stores nearby that sell a decent bottle of wine?
Do they have a Liquor store in the area where we can pickup some Vodka or Gin, cold beer, etc. and a couple of bottles of wine?

Thank you,
Al
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Apr 29th, 2010, 10:14 AM
  #2
 
Join Date: Mar 2003
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there are liquor stores in rodney bay, but if possible you might considser buying at duty free on the way to st.lucia. on island will be pricey as it's all imported. you might want to try some rums distilled on nearby barbados and the island has it's own beer - Piton - to try.
there is a barbados company called Bryden & Partners that has a shop in a mall in rodney bay that has a wine selection: http://www.shopjqmall.com/stores.htm#liquor - again all imported so high prices.
you will probably find that the lowest prices for all will be at grocery stores. rodney bay has good grocery stores.
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Apr 29th, 2010, 03:23 PM
  #3
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Thank you for your reply. Are you saying that all liquor in St. Lucia is expensive?
I do not mind bringing some nice bottles of wine with us but I would hope that I could get some Vodka or Gin for reasonable prices??
Can you or anyone give me some idea of what the following items may go for:
Wine (drinkable) =
Vodka =
Rum (assuming cheap) =
Beer =
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Apr 30th, 2010, 06:05 AM
  #4
 
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There's a large supermarket in the Rodney Bay Mall that has a pretty comprehensive alcohol section. There's also a liquor store in the mall that has higher end wine and liquor. Virginia might be right about high end wine and liquor being expensive, but I have found that drinkable wine is actually a little cheaper in St. Lucia than in the US. Mid-level gin and vodka is roughly comparable to prices in the US (maybe a little more, but not enough to make it worthwhile to haul it in your luggage). Cheap rum (which includes virtually anything that is distilled in the Caribbean, including Bounty, the St. Lucian rum) is very inexpensive -- less than $10. There's a Heineken brewery on the island, so Heineken is pretty cheap, as is Piton, the local beer.
By the way, regarding food -- If you buy imported stuff, it is very expensive. If, on the other hand, you stick to things that are made or grown locally, it's pretty cheap. Buy your fruits and vegetables from vendors on the street instead of at the supermarket. Buy your fish from the guys with the tables set up on the side of the road near Castries -- very freshly caught and inexpensive. One more thing -- when you pay for food, you might feel a little sticker shock when you see the total, but then you'll realize that the price shown is in EC dollars. The conversion rate is 2.68 to $1.
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Apr 30th, 2010, 09:30 AM
  #5
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dominick2, Thank you for the detailed response. Glad that I won't need to bring anything with me.
That is great info on the vendors. I would much rather by fresh from the vendors then from a grocery store.

Do you exchange your US dollars for EC dollars or just purchase everything in US? I can see that it may be wise to pay with the local currency while dealing with the vendors.
I imagine a local bank in Castries or Rodney bay could handle this transaction?
Appreciate your responses.
Al
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Apr 30th, 2010, 12:28 PM
  #6
 
Join Date: Sep 2005
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The supermarket gives you the official exchange rate if you pay in US dollars so it doesn't really matter which currency you use (although I think that it was Jimmy Buffett who said that it is more fun to spend money with pictures of palm trees on it than pictures of little green men). Most of the vendors use a slightly worse rate -- 2.50 EC/dollar which, when you think about it, is fair since, if you pay them in US dollars, they then have to go to the trouble of going to the bank and exchanging it for the local currency. There are a couple of bank branches in Rodney Bay where you can exchange money (but be ready for very slow-moving lines in the banks). The cash machines dispense the local currency at the official exchange rate.
By the way, there's a place called the Bread Basket in the Rodney Bay Marina complex that has good bread and pastries.
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