Camdem Gourmet Market employees hand out rice cracker samples to attendees at the Tortola Pier Park event A Taster’s Delight on Friday. (Photo: CLAIRE SHEFCHIK)

Meslyn Allan had one message she wanted to get across to residents about the Tortola Pier Park: “It’s for everyone,” she said.

During the event A Taster’s Delight on Friday, Ms. Allan, the park’s leasing and marketing manager, gave out “passports” to guide many of the 200-plus attendees on their “journey” as they sampled delicacies from TPP vendors.

This week, cruise ships returned to the park for the first time in months, but Ms. Allan was firm that she didn’t want VI residents to feel left out or think that the park is geared toward tourists only.

“We appreciate the BVI residents. From time to time we hear persons say, ‘Well, the Pier Park is not for us. … We have all of these events so people can come and enjoy.”

Ms. Allan encouraged attendees to register ahead of time in order to head off the possibility of running out of passports. But even though organisers printed up 160 passports, attendance surpassed that, with latecomers having to forgo passports and grab what samples they could.

New offerings

Beans coffee shop owner Martin Whitrod had plenty of samples, and wasn’t turning anyone away. He is one of the newest tenants in the park.

“We were due to open a week after Irma and obviously got delayed,” he explained. “We were waiting for everything to get back to
some sort of normality.”

But because there wasn’t any major damage, the storm only set the business back till December. Now he was excited to showcase the menu.

“For us, we’re hoping for a better awareness of what we offer on our menu: It’s not only coffee,” he said.

The business also sells lemonade, iced chai (with or without espresso) and cold brew coffee, as well as cookies and other light food. And on Monday, it also started offering local juices.

Elsewhere, Kame rice crackers, bruschetta and sparkling sodas were on offer at Camdem Gourmet Market, and cheese-flavoured waffles and mango frozen yogurt at Swirlzzz Frozen Yogurt & Treatz.

Those who sampled the delicacies and returned a completed passport received a chip that they could cash in for a free food item or beverage in the park.

Food and beverage

According to Ms. Allan, the event was all about expanding consciousness of what’s available.

“People say, ‘Oh, the Pier Park doesn’t have food; the Pier Park doesn’t have this.’ But we actually have over 15 food and beverage tenants,” she explained. “They can get breakfast, lunch and dinner right here in the Pier Park.”

Pointing out the steel pan music at Camdem and the karaoke at Myett’s Chill Zone, she added, “Tenants are supposed to have their own feel and ambience.”

The event was part of Food and Beverage Week at the park, which started Friday and continues through Saturday.

Next up is a nightlife campaign, Ms. Allan said, adding, “This is a place to come right after work on Fridays or to hang out on Saturdays.”

That event will be followed by a showcase of health and wellness tenants, a movie night for couples in October, and a party to coincide with Black Friday in November.

“I hope everyone sticks around,” Ms. Allan said.