Despite the absence of North American, European and British mega-stores, you will find no shortage of supermarkets, convenience stores and mini-marts in Barbados for buying good quality groceries, household supplies and even experiencing a taste of authentic local cuisine. Ranging from local chain operations to the all-purpose village rum shop, Barbados offers both its visitors and locals a variety and standard of goods that can more than satisfy the tastes and needs of even the most discerning of food shoppers. No matter where you are staying in Barbados, chances are that either a supermarket or convenience store is but a "hop-skip-and-jump" away!
For those of you looking to stock-up for a long term stay or a self-catering tour of Barbados, you will find the Supercentre brand to be the most visible and largest of the chain supermarkets in Barbados. With wide-aisles and contemporary lay-out, Supercentre stores bring to Barbados the ambience of North American and British-styled supermarkets. There are five stores situated at convenient and easily accessible locations, no matter where you are staying in Barbados. There is the Sunset Crest store located on the west coast in Holetown, St. James, the flagship Warrens store, located in the Warrens Shopping Complex off the ABC Highway, the south coast branches of Big B in the Peronne Village, Rendezvous, Christ Church and Supercentre Oistins, Southern Plaza, Oistins, Christ Church and finally JB's Supercentre situated in Sargent's Village, Christ Church.
All of the Supercentre stores are always well stocked and carry most of the popular internationally recognized premium brands out of the US, Canada and the UK as well as a healthy variety of locally manufactured products and Barbados-grown produce. In comparison to the other supermarkets, Supercentre stocks the largest selection of ethnic and specialty foods available in Barbados. Also incorporated into their operation is the well patronized Village Deli and Bakery which provides you with the opportunity to sample a "real" mouth-watering Barbadian breakfast or lunch. A word of advice if you plan on sampling the lunchtime offerings: Get there early or you are guaranteed to be disappointed! Most of the Supercentre stores also offer full pharmacy services through Knights Pharmacy and with the exception of the Oistins and Sunset Crest stores, Pages, Barbados' premier bookseller, operates a well stocked bookstore and gift shop on site.
Though not as large as Supercentre, other supermarket chains in Barbados include Jordans Supermarket with the two largest of their four branches located in Fitts Village, St. James and in Speightstown, St. Peter. Trimart is another local supermarket chain with stores in Rendezvous, Christ Church and at Mall Internationale in Haggat Hall, St. Michael, and other outlets in St. Martin, St. Philip and Mile and a Quarter, St. Peter. There is also Popular Discounts, with locations in Spry Street, Bridgetown and Spooners Hill, St. Michael, and CarltonA1/Emerald City. Emerald City Supermarket based at Six Roads, St. Philip is a particular favorite of those persons seeking a wide variety of fresh meats and a good selection of locally grown fruits and vegetables. They also have an on-site pharmacy, bakery and deli offering fresh breads and local cuisine prepared daily. Carlton A1 is located in Black Rock, St. Michael and is known for its lower prices on certain bread basket items, and as a result, tends to attract customers not only from the surrounding areas, but from other parts of Barbados as well. Both CarletonA1 and Emerald City supermarkets are known as being the place in Barbados to get "Proper Pork." In other words, they cater fully to the Barbadian love of pork and therefore carry a wide selection of every imaginable cut of pork at very competitive prices. As their jingle says, "Proper Pork is… PROPER!"
There are several other supermarket operations in Barbados which are also very popular with consumers. Again, due to location, a no-frills approach and the fact that they tend to feature less well known international brands along with a healthy stock of regional and local items, these supermarkets can offer comparatively better prices on most goods without sacrificing quality. Such supermarkets include, the family-owned and operated Montrose Supermarket in Montrose, Christ Church, Roxy Supermarket in Eagle Hall, St. Michael, Howard's Supermarket, Bush Hall, St. Michael, Bridge Supermarket, Charles Rowe Bridge, St. George and St. Elmo's Supermarket, Sports Bar and Bakery in Moon Town, St. Lucy and Eddie's Trading Co. Ltd., Queen Street, St. Peter.
Points to Note When Shopping
A few things to keep in mind when shopping at supermarkets and convenience stores in Barbados:
Most food items sold in Barbados are imported and are therefore subject to added importation duties and taxes. As a result, depending on where you are from, food prices might be a bit more expensive than what you are used to but the secret to outsmarting the cash register is one which is employed by every savvy Barbadian shopper and that is to BUY LOCAL!
Supercentre will take any currency cash along with cheques, debit and credit cards
Other supermarkets and convenience stores will take cash (usually Barbados and US dollars), credit and debit cards
Membership clubs accept Barbados and US dollars along with debit and credit cards
Mini-Marts mainly operate on a cash basis (Barbados and US dollars); however, a few do accept debit cards
If presenting a cheque or using a debit or credit card, you will be required to present a photo ID (passport preferably).