Photo: Store Bay Beach

Visitors to the Store Bay Beach Facility can look forward to a more Caribbean flavored dining experience as they patronize popular food vendors like Miss Jean’s and Miss Trims’. Diners at the recently refurbished food court will now be able to enjoy the destination’s signature curry crab and dumpling dish in an inviting area designed to evoke the warm and vibrant island spirit Tobago is known for.

In a bid to infuse some spice into the eating area, a cheerful aquamarine and orange color palette has replaced the once stark white fixtures. Umbrellas with colorful depictions of the island’s rich marine wildlife provide ample shade while all tables and seats have been tiled to offer more comfortable seating. The tiles, along with the special paint used, make the entire space easier to maintain and management has ensured that all changes adhere to the required health standards.

One of over 20 properties maintained by the Division of Tourism and Transportation of the Tobago House of Assembly, the facility has established itself as a veritable icon among Tobago’s tourist attractions. Undoubtedly one of the destination’s most visited sites, the beach hosts over 100,000 visitors annually, serving as both a first and last stop for many. Its inviting waters, wide range of amenities, well maintained infrastructure and proximity to the A. N. R. Robinson International Airport makes it the ideal location. Efforts are therefore constantly being made to increase the overall visitor experience.

Facility Manager, Sadie-Monique Harry, coordinated the improvements and she has noted increased interest in the venue. “Since its upgrade persons have expressed the desire to host luncheons and other events in the food court,” said Harry. “Most notably is the request by a couple from Trinidad to host their wedding in the area.”

Store Bay vendor, Marjorie Phillips, is equally excited about the face lift. “It’s looking really good,” says Phillips whose shop, Ice Cream Plus, is located directly opposite the food court. “The current imagery looks so scenic; it really enhances Store Bay and gives it a vibrant, more tropical look.”

Photo: Food vendors at the Store Bay Beach Facility

Harry, who has managed the facility for a total of six years from 2001 to present, has overseen many significant update, including the refurbishment of the craft booths, the installation of lockers for staff and members of the public, the introduction of a staff common room and most recently the installation of the Bzone wifi connection so visitors can access the internet on their mobile devices.

Such improvements are necessary according to Harry who identifies Store Bay as an integral part of Tobago’s tourism product. “This facility has been and continues to be a hub of activity for both our domestic and international visitors,” she says. “It offers a bit of what every tourist looks for; pleasant people, well made crafts, good food and well kept change and bathroom facilities, a clean beach with crystal clear water and staff that are always ready to assist.”

With credentials like that, the Store Bay Beach Facility is certainly ready to receive the influx of visitors expected this coming tourist season. But the improvements do not stop there. Harry says several other projects are in the works, including the installation of wheelchair ramps, the refurbishment of the bandstand area to accommodate weekly performances, the covering of the entire craft market and the introduction of a monthly event to entertain visitors.

Photo credit: Division of Tourism and Transportation