Provisioning in St. Barths

24 November 2009 By Joanne MacKenzie

’Tis the season...and boats are starting to gather in the Caribbean. If you end up at the dock in St. Barths, you may find yourself wondering, “Where do I find provisions?”

Chef Randal Hughes says you should start at Match supermarket. It’s located a few minutes away from the harbor, across from the airport. Hughes says you can get everything you need there, but you have to get there early. “If there are more than two other big yachts in town, it’s a real scramble. You can’t just go in the store after another yacht chef [because] all the good stuff is gone. Ask [store employees] when they restock and be there ASAP. It’s a real French supermarket, so there is all the cheese, produce, dry goods and just about everything else [you’d find in France].”

If you’re looking for great fresh baguettes or pastries, Hughes recommends the local bakeries. “Now, I bake, but how can I compete with the two French bakeries a few blocks from the dock? Trying to explain where they are would be pointless. Follow your nose or just ask someone.” They’re open as early as 6:30 a.m. and you can get a good café au lait for the stroll back.

If you’re looking for buffalo mozzarella, fresh herbs, specialty vinegars, olive oil, chutneys or any other specialty ingredients, you can go to a gourmet shop also just a couple of minutes walk from the dock past the restaurants. “I can’t recall the place’s name, but the guy speaks English very well. He can get you anything you need. It’s pricey, but then you’re in St. Barths and owners/charter guests [usually] will really mind. If you’re there for awhile, [special requests] can be flown in,” Hughes says.

You also can have specialty orders sent over on the ferry from Marigot Bay in St. Martin. Stefan, the owner of L’Epicerie de Marie, has great produce, cheese and fish regularly flown in from Paris as well as specialty products. He will work with the gourmet shop in St. Barths to fill last-minute orders if he has the items available. Stefan recommends ordering two weeks in advance during the Christmas season so they can guarantee delivery of hard-to-get items.

There is also another gourmet shop in St. Jean called Kiki-e Mo Epicerie Italienne. You can find homemade pastas and sauces, coffee, wines and, from their deli, you can order paninis or pastas for the crew. They deliver and also provide catering services. You can reach them at + 590 590 27 70 or email

Right across the street from the main dock in Port Gustavia is a small supermarket called Le Libre Service. While it may be small, it has a great selection of produce, dairy and deli items and a good selection of basic Caribbean and American products. Don’t forget to weigh all your produce and bring bags.

Happy provisioning!