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Hopefully Soon to be Relocating to St. Croix - Need Assistance!

New Member

Hello Out There,

My husband and I are seriously considering purchasing a restaurant on the island. We are both chefs and have been waiting for the right opportunity in the islands which I think we may have just stumbled upon. So many questions!

1. The move - what does everyone use to ship their belongings? Looking for the cheapest but certainly the most reliable...is it cheapest to drive the car or cars down to Miami and ship from there?

2. Taxes - what do we need to know?

3. Daycare/Schools - I am seeing mixed reviews here. Our son is 1 and we would need a reliable daycare or a nanny to come over. Suggestions?

4. Rental - we would most likely rent a space to live to start out so any pointers you have about this would also be fantastic.

Just a few to start things out...look forward to chatting with this group!

Topic starter Posted : August 26, 2015 12:54 am

See top of this page where there's a string of pull-down menus from, "The USVI" on the left to, "Forum" on the right. All your questions have been asked and answered many times over along with a few score and ten you haven't even yet thought of. I don't know of one restaurant in the USVI that isn't for sale if you have the $$s but good luck with your adventure.

Posted : August 26, 2015 9:45 am

Can you give us a hint.....which restaurant. What type of cuisine?

Posted : August 26, 2015 10:37 am

a restaurant? well, just do your research .

i too am curious as to what type of restaurant. have you ever run a restaurant before? or a business?

1.we used vi cargo and crowley

2.too many taxes to list-talk to an accountant. jim sheetz and david johnson come to mind for this-there number is in the phone book


3.-no help to offer

4. https://www.coldwellbankervi.com/page-pam-mcfadden-34.html

Posted : August 26, 2015 10:51 am

Have you visited the island previously?
If you're considering investing in a business, that should be a "must"
on your list.

Restaurants open and close for many reasons here.
Some because their service and food are below par, many because their expenses, read Wapa, electrical bills, etc. outweigh their earnings.

When tourist season which is relatively short, is over, the only way a restaurant business can survive is with local support. Good prices, good food, good service, attention to detail wins the day.

Money goes quickly here so bring more than you'll think you'll need.
Good luck on your endeavor.

Posted : August 26, 2015 11:04 am

There's always a restaurant or two for sale on STX.

I heard the other day that the condo units that the Tutto Bene folks own where the restaurant was have been sold. Maybe a new restaurant will open in part of that space.

Posted : August 26, 2015 11:16 am
Trusted Member

The cost to ship your "belonging" varies greatly depending on the type and the amount of your "belongings", where you are shipping from and how quickly you expect/need to get/receive your "belongings". For starters - use the "Relocating - The Move" dropdown link link at the top of this page and also use the "Forum Search" feature to bring up hundreds of threads with literally 1,000's of posts/replies discussing virtually every aspect and shipping option available.

Suffice to say, if by "belongings" you mean mean a whole houseful of furnishing, then it will not be "cheap" so the term "cheapest" can take on a whole different meaning. You need to get estimates from different vendors to determine which shipper might charge you a little "less" than other competitors but it will by no means be "cheap".

Regarding the purchase of a restaurant - I assume since you and your husband are chefs you have some experience in the industry and are familiar with operating a restaurant so that would be a big plus but keep in mind that running a restaurant in the Caribbean presents some unique challenges so do be careful and personally perform your due diligence and DO NOT under any circumstances purchase the restaurant sight unseen.

As others have said, a high percentage of the restaurants in the Caribbean are "For Sale" so you have to ask yourself "Why does the current owner want to sell if the business is viable"??? Answers like the owner has made his/her fortune and is ready to retire; it's time to move on; there's health/family issues "back home" are probably just smoke screens that hide the fact it's an unprofitable venture. I'm not trying to dissuade you but rather just giving words of caution. You probably already know running a restaurant is a tough business even in the best of times. Running one in the Caribbean only magnifies the difficulties you might encounter.

Sorry, can't give you any specifics about taxes so does as speee1dy says and consult with a local accountant, he/she will be able to advise you much better than me or most of the contributors on this forum.

We don't have children so anything I can offer about daycare will be pure speculation. You might start a separate thread about daycare on STX so those contributors in the know can address that particular issue at length.

As for "renting" - I'd start out by contacting a few of the Real Estate Agents on the island that specialize in rental units to see if you have a "fit". Once you choose one he/she should be able to offer you valued assistance.

Lastly, if you haven't already done so make a Pre-Move Visit to STX - come not as a tourist/vacationer but rather use the trip as a fact finding mission.

Good luck following your dream.

Posted : August 26, 2015 12:41 pm
Trusted Member

You can't bring your car as long as there's a lien on it.

Your best bet is to move down and chef for another restaurant for whilst you git educated and put together your business plan.

Posted : August 27, 2015 1:03 am
Active Member

In terms of kids, there is a thriving parents' community: Tamarind Moms or Tamarind Parents. I'm on the FB group but not the yahoo group. I know both are great resources for tips about daycare, gyms with childcare, trading old toys for new ones, etc.

To get into the FB group, someone had to invite me. So if you msg'd me your email/fb ID, I could try to do the same.

Posted : August 27, 2015 3:19 pm
Advanced Member


I know of restaurant space available for rent - small and probably a pretty good place to start your own thing and grow it. PM me if you would like more information...

Posted : August 30, 2015 12:41 pm
New Member

It depends on who you have the lien through. We were able to ship our car down with a lien against it. We had to get a letter from the bank approving the transfer here though.

Posted : August 30, 2015 3:59 pm
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