This shop was on the ship recommended list which usually means that they are more expensive. We could see it from the ship - it was right on the main street.
They had Land™ leather goods, casual wear for men & women, alcohol, tobacco, sunglasses, indigenous crafts & souvenirs. We went in and looked, but didn't buy anything
Opening Hours: Mon-Fri 9-5pm, Sat 9-2pm
Outside the museum was a craft type fair. I had a hard time finding stuff that didn't have very loud garish colors, but I bought a pink T-shirt and a little dark pink dress for two granddaughters. After I got them back to the ship, I found out they were made in Thailand and China, and were not local.
I did get some EC coins for our grandsons.
I thought I might buy some coffee for some of my children and their spouses, so I went to the tourist information place and asked. She said there was a place called Bello (pronounced Bee Low) but they were closed because it was Saturday.
What to buy: Frommers says: "In Roseau, the Old Market Plaza, of historical significance as a former slave-trading market and more recently the site of a Wednesday-, Friday-, and Saturday-morning vegetable market, now houses three craft shops, each specializing in coconut, straw, and Carib craft products.
One local craft that you can buy are baskets and mats made from grass. We saw examples of this craft in the museum. I thought they would make good gifts, so I bought some in the local market, and at the rain forest tram headquarters, but they are displayed at most outdoor booths. You can bargain.
The phone number and name of the store that is listed is one that advertises these products, but I have not been there.
What to buy: Frommers says: "The handmade Dominican vetiver-grass mats sold at Tropicrafts Island Mats, are known throughout the world, and you can watch the weaving process during store hours. They also sell dolls, shopping bags, and place mats, all appliquéd by hand.
What to pay: At the market, grass placemat was $5@. I said that I wanted 5 but could not afford that much money. So she said she'd give me 5 for $30. I said that is the wrong direction - that's more than $5 @. So she eventually agreed to 5 items for $20 and she would throw in a small basket to boot.
Open market and supermarkets; fresh fruits daily at reasonable prices
What to buy: Dominica is in its own right famous for delicious local grown fruits. Pineapples, mangoes, coconuts both green and brown, passion fruit, berries, bananas-its biggest export, limes, lemons, and grapefruit to name a few. Prices are very reasonable.
What to pay: EC .25-5.00/USD .09-1.88
You can find Astaphans grocery store in Roseau. It was my choice on this trip to quickly grab a little local flavor to share when I got home.
What to buy: Kubulibeer, Soca rum, Teas by Nature Fresh or Javar, Bello sauces and jams(YUM), local coffee, natural cocoa by AshRose cottage and Flavoring extract by gaps or hills.
What to buy: I bought some sandals for my wife in Roseau. I went right into the shop where they were being made. If you like hand made sandals you would have lots to choose from. I believe I had to part with $90 ec. but the fact that she liked them when I got home made it a good purchase. Also bought some hand painted t-shirts, costume jewellery , hats, vanilla extract, cd's, Bello hot sauce, and a face carved from a fern tree. Pretty much standard tourist fare. On my shopping day I also stopped and got a hair cut, talking and listening to the Gentlemen Barber and his clientele was extremely enjoyable and informative. In the morning I ate some bakes and later I stopped for something more substantial at the Fort Young Hotel.
The whole cruise ship dock area is loaded with touristy souvenirs. Most are made in China it seems...However, Rosseau has lots of shops with stuff. I found the rest of the island didn't have many places to buy souvenirs, so if you need to buy your mandatory magnet or postcard, do it here.
If you're going to Dominica, this shop is well worth a visit. The shop sells popcorn, hotdogs, drinks and through a door in the back is a large selection of American "candy" or sweets as we say over here. The most amazing thing about this shop was the girl behind the counter. Never have I had a more enjoyable experience buying some popcorn! Imagine the most beautiful smile you've ever seen and then some. It took me about 5 minutes to explain what I wanted and to understand what she was saying (no salted popcorn at the time, only sugared) because I was in awe. Anyway, back to the shop! If you need a quick snack, a nice drink or you're longing for a sugar fix from home (US), this shop is the place to go.
What to pay: The imported candy is slightly expensive but everything else in the shop is very reasonable and the service! If only people everywhere were so friendly and smiled the way Dominicans do, the world would be an amazing place.
The local tourist shops all told us that because it was Sunday none of the local shops were open. OK, I took that at face value. Then, walking one street back of main street, I found a shop with an open door. As I looked in I found it was a small grocery store. It had snacks and drinks and assorted items one might find useful. The batteries I bought at the duty free store were actually less expensive in this little grocery store. I wish I had found it first!
But I wanted other VTers who might be coming to Dominica to know that, even on Sunday - at least with a cruise ship in port, if they will just go behind the 'Duty Free Emporium' to the next street, right on the corner is this nice little friendly grocery store.
I just took a quick picture at this one setup at a main street tent booth in Roseau. I took it because it had a bowl that said Dominica and because it was so typical of the items being sold by almost every booth. You can see the baskets and bamboo bowl sets. You can also see the plastic snakes.
Dominica has no poisonous snakes but, being a rainforest, does have the more harmless boa constrictor snakes.
Also prevalent in Roseau were the sidewalk tent booths that provided tourists with all sorts of baskets and handicrafts. These sidewalk booths were situated on the main street, beyond the 'Duty Free Emporium' as well as down a number of the alleyways.
The proprietors of these booths were always talking with the tourists or with each other. They always seemed to be smiling or on the edge of a smile and a feeling of friendliness just washes over you. Often the women were either tending children in the booths or were doing needlework of one sort or another.
But all of it was friendly, non-aggressive and easy going. Even as I walked and shop down the alleyways I never felt threatened or in danger of any sort.
Almost directly across from the cruise ship berth, on the other side of the street, is a nice building with a sign proclaiming 'Duty Free Emporium'. Since we had a few hours before taking our tour into the highlands, and it was one of the few shops open for business, this was a shop we just had to see.
We happen to be in Roseau on a Sunday and believe me there are very few local businesses open for business on a Sunday. Only the very touristy of places were open for us to shop in.
Anyway, the duty free emporium has a nice selection of tourist-type items. I was looking for some AA batteries for a digital camera that they did have in stock. They also had a nice book 'Dominica: Nature island of the Caribbean. A Guide to Nature Sites' by Peter G.H. Evans & Arlington James that I also purchased. They had the usual assortment of suntan lotions and liquor as well.
A small community based enterprise. A great place to buy locally produced specialty soaps and more.
What to buy: Natural soaps and oils.
Beware: Saturday afternoon is early closing. Also, many of the shops close for lunch. So, especially if you're from a cruise ship, check your shopping times before you arrange other things!
Here is one of the racks of local items that were for sale in the 'Duty Free Emporium'. You can see there are some interesting and unique things to purchase in Dominica.
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