Our story began over three decades ago when we first fled Southward for a Caribbean holiday. The diverse island cultures (love of the food, music, arts and crafts, the natural beauty) kept enticing us to restyle our lives. In 1979, carefully weighing the merits of various islands from Jamaica to Grenada, and after much soul-searching and a certain amount of trepidation we chose Tortola to be our island home.
In 1980 upon completion of our "Magic House" we plotted the next phase of "The Paradise Plan." Determined not to sit on the beach drinking rum every day, we stockpiled our thoughts to resolve what would fulfill our expectations and ideals of life on a Tropical Isle. What would sustain our lives and energies as we embarked on our Caribbean adventure?
The year of creation was a whirlwind of activity - mixing, blending, printing, designing, travelling, meeting and working with hundreds of people learning and listening. Our "Magic House" became the experimental station for numerous island-inspired concoctions and a production center for Spicee Catsup, Rum Peppers and Pure Vanilla. We burnt our tongues tasting and perpetually exuded an aroma of exotic, tropical fragrances. Patience was not only a virtue, but also a necessity.
After an exhausting but fascinating year of preparation we opened the doors to SUNNY CARIBBEE in November 1983 in Raffie Stout's Building by the roundabout, with a staff of 3-1/2 (Bob, Susan, Greg and the part-time help of our housekeeper). The challenging first year of operation was a trial in living as well as working. In our mini-quarters everything happened: mixing, packing, storing, buying, selling, bookkeeping. A little success inspired us to continually add to our array of products and staff.
Bursting our seams at Raffies, giving up the battle of the goats, our search for a new location concluded with a move in 1986 to H.R. Penn's "Social Inn", (first guest house in Tortola) a quaint, West Indian building. We have been happily ensconced in our miniature "Spice Factory," on Old Main Street, ever since. Here we share with you our love of all things Caribbean.
As we catch our breath and reflect on all the wondrous things that have occurred in our "second lives," we feel very fortunate to have achieved our goals. We have our space in Paradise and have helped to restore and present an image and product of a proud, talented, complex people as we continue to visit beautiful places and meet wonderful people in this extraordinary part of the world.