Café Britt enters regional market

ST JOHN’S, Antigua, December 31, 2009 – Destination merchandise retailing specialist Café Britt has entered the Eastern Caribbean market, opening up a store at Antigua and Barbuda’s VC Bird International Airport.

According to London-based publication The Moodie Report, the ‘XPlora Antigua’ shop is a private-public partnership that involved Café Britt expanding the airport terminal. The project cost US$1.3 million and provides employment for 32 people.

“We have partnered with the Airport Authority and have created some 300 square metres of useful airport space in addition to the store. Our investment shows our commitment to Antigua,” Café Britt CEO Pablo Vargas told The Moodie report. “We are searching for local artisans to further develop the Antiguan sense of place at the shop.”

The shop, which sells an assortment of chocolates, t-shirts, souvenirs locally made arts and crafts and jewellery, occupies some 220 square metres of space in the departure lounge at the island’s airport.

“We are very proud to contribute to enhancing the experience of the Antiguan visitors and nationals who use the facilities of VC Bird International Airport,” Vargas said.

He added that the company is separating its two business units into Café Britt – selling coffee and chocolates – and X-Plora, the retail division, and further X-Plora shops will be opened in the region.

Café Britt operates over 50 stores in Costa Rica; Miami; St Thomas, US Virgin Islands; Curaçao; Chile; and Peru and also has coffee and chocolate production facilities in Costa Rica and in Peru.