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Baron
(@Baron)
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July 3, 2014 1:05 am  

Hello Board Posters. I enjoyed reading the posts on "what is it like living in St. Croix". My woman friend, Diane, and i will be visiting St. Croix at the end of August. We are looking for an alternative to living on Long Island's north shore in Oyster Bay NY. Diane has traveled some but has spent her entire life on Long Island. I've traveled a lot and lived in many different places, including the Navajo Reservation in northern Arizona where I taught high school English.During our two week visit we will be assessing the possibility of finding a part-time enterprise to supplement our insuficient social security income. We both are good cooks and would consider a food cart, but that will depend on how difficult it is to get permits. We have the equipment and skills.to start a small video production studio. Or I could be a greeter at K-mart (I promise not to suck air through my teeth).
We would be interested in hearing from anyone who has explored the possibilities of semi-retirement on the island. We look forward to meeting you all in August. We'll be staying first in Frederiksted and then up the hill from Sprat Hole.
Be Happy.
Baron (Albert Richard)


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Linda J
(@Linda_J)
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July 3, 2014 12:20 pm  

Ric and I were in exactly your situation when we first moved to STX. Strongly suggest you apply at the Buccaneer or one of the other large resorts. Starting your own business would be very tricky.


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Afriend
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July 3, 2014 12:35 pm  

Before investing your hard earned money in a business you'd be better off working for someone else for a year or so (preferably in the type of business you are considering) while you "get the lay of the land" - in other words learn what it's like to operate a business in the islands on someone else's dime. Use that time to learn all the ins, outs and pitfalls to avoid, evaluate the prospects of the particular business, check out the competition so you can find your niche - something that sets your business apart from everyone else offering the same product.


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Baron
(@Baron)
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July 3, 2014 2:49 pm  

Thank you Linda and Afriend for good advice. We'll take a look around. I nevertheless have an image in my head of Diane and I near a beach selling the best fish tacos in the Caribbean (or seafood crepes?)


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Afriend
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July 3, 2014 3:50 pm  

Taking a "look around" may not be good enough.

Food service businesses like restaurants, beach bars, food trucks, etc. have a high failure rate, especially if the owners have no prior restaurant experience. It's even more difficult on an island in the Caribbean that's heavily dependent upon the ebbs and flows of the tourism trade. Add to that getting your Food Handler's permit, purchasing your equipment, identifying reliable & consistent sources for your food products, and finding a location for your food truck (you just can't set up somewhere on the side of a road or son a beach), etc. and yo can see why you need to do a lot of first hand research.

Before you even consider doing this you should watch a few episodes of Restaurant Impossible (on the Food Channel). Every week the host tries to help out failing restaurants and almost invariably the "troubled" restauranteurs are people who thought they were "good cooks" but had no idea how to run a restaurant and they are now deeply in debt and in danger of of losing everything.

If you have no prior restaurant experience do your homework, gain a few years experience, learn the business from the ground up BEFORE you invest any money. Otherwise that dream you have in your head "of Diane and I near a beach selling the best fish tacos in the Caribbean (or seafood crepes?)" could easily turn into a nightmare.

One more thing to consider - in the food service industry you'll be working when everyone else around you will be in the relaxing or vacation mode. That means you won't have much free time to fully enjoy a simpler retirement (or as you put it semi-retirement) lifestyle in the Caribbean.

Good luck in your quest.


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speee1dy
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July 3, 2014 7:22 pm  

also know that it seems at least in stt that only certain people have a permit to sell at the beach? correct me if i am wrong. also that others who want permits to sell food cart/truck at the beach can not get the permit. stx is not at a good financial or secure footing at the moment. we do not get a lot of tourists visiting the island. i dont know about the other islands but the old real touristy beach hear is cane bay and they have two restaurants and last i saw, a food cart.
there are really no beaches like the jersey beaches.


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C_Ray6
(@C_Ray6)
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July 3, 2014 7:24 pm  

These two did it on St. John. Rented a car a drove to the Tourist Trap and had some great food with a wonderful view.

http://www.wedontneednostinkingwebsite.com/The_Tourist_Trap/Welcome.html


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li2stxx
(@li2stxx)
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July 3, 2014 7:30 pm  

Baron,
We moved here from the South shore of LI about 4 years ago and not quite into semi retirement yet. Something to think about, cost here are the same, if not more the LI.
LI2stxx


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OldTart
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July 4, 2014 10:37 am  

These two did it on St. John. Rented a car a drove to the Tourist Trap and had some great food with a wonderful view.

http://www.wedontneednostinkingwebsite.com/The_Tourist_Trap/Welcome.html

/blockquote>

The exception, NOT the norm!


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Alana33
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July 4, 2014 1:54 pm  

Not to mention they had already lived here 6 yrs., knew island, had friends, local contacts and was able to rent the spot (probably already permitted) from the owner of the property which was already in a good location and in keeping with low overhead. All the National Park beaches and VI Gov. owned beaches that allow food ( restaurants or food trucks) or other type businesses already have people waiting in line for their concessions, if and when they become available. Not to burst your bubble.

I am sure if you are creative enough you can carve out a niche for yourselves but you'll have to give yourself time time settle in and get to know the island you choose to live on and what will work best for you under your circumstaances.


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Baron
(@Baron)
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July 4, 2014 3:21 pm  

Thank you all for taking the time to offer such comprehensive feedback. Yes, I agree with the difficulties associated with food service businesses.
I have some experience. I have owned and managed a few restaurants over the years and even acted as a consultant for friends who were foolish enough to want to open a their own bistro I had one success--the Popocateptl" --a Mexican breakfast lunch cafe and one high-end seafood grill in Washington state. I do enjoy watching both Restaurant Impossible--a must-see show for would-be restauranteurs and Chopped.
Because of our limited financial resources, any enterprise we decide to do will require measred restraint and caution. I think finding jobs on the island will be our first challenge. I'm 70--a young 70-- and it makes a difference to employers. K-mart might actually be possibility as I have worked as a sales associate for Lowes.
We have high hopes for building a life in Sr Croix. We;re not looking for paradise; just a scenic spot with warm people, marine activities and NO SNOW to ever shovel again.

Albert & Diane


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Linda J
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July 4, 2014 4:30 pm  

Seriously, if on STX, try the bystander.


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speee1dy
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July 4, 2014 6:51 pm  

we also have a home depot, so that might be an option.


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sheiba
(@sheiba)
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July 4, 2014 7:02 pm  

You could substitute teach on an on-call basis with the public school system? Work occasionally without the full commitment.


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Afriend
(@afriend)
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July 4, 2014 7:02 pm  

OP wrote "Because of our limited financial resources, any enterprise we decide to do will require measured restraint and caution" - it is good that OP recognizes that fact.

Most of us who have made the move to the Caribbean learned early on that it is extremely difficult to succeed in the Caribbean with "limited financial resources". Theres an old adage that goes like this: How do you leave the Caribbean with $1 million? Come with $3 million.

Use the advice you received here wisely - good luck following your dream.


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Baron
(@Baron)
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July 10, 2014 2:39 pm  

Fortunately I can,t lose millions...I'm too poor, I had some general trivia questions. Some of you I'm sure have answers.
1. Why are streets in St Croix called "Streets" while in St Thomas they use the Danish word "Gade"?
2. Is there an inexpensive boat to Buck Island? And can we kayak there?
3. Is there an Art Cooperative in Frederiksted?

I've been watching the live vid cam at the boardwalk. One gets the impression it is not frequented by tourists only. Many non-touristy
People sit under the red roof, chatting and enjoying the breeze. I can imagine myself sitting there. Needless to say, we are counting the days to our departur


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DavidBank
(@DavidBank)
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July 10, 2014 4:47 pm  

STX was bought by the Danes from the French which is different from STT and STJ


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speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
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July 10, 2014 5:56 pm  

1-they are called by both names if you look at the signs downtown
2-no, yes
3-?

I imagine you see keith sitting in the area


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Baron
(@Baron)
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Posts: 20
July 10, 2014 6:22 pm  

Yes, true, but still all three islands were under Danish control. St Thomas and St. John were acquired first in 1666 and St. Croix was added in 1733, some 70 years later. Because of its abundant fiertile land, St. Croix became the principle Danish Island and Danish was established as the official language. The English occupied for two short periods (1801-1802 and 1807-1815) but the Danes prevailed until the territory was sold to the U.S. in 1917.
My guess on the street name is that at some point a local St. Croix government agency in charge of street signs issued a mandate to change "Gade" to "Street" on all the signs. It's just a guess. From what is see looking at the google Earth maps, the streets and land areas have some of the most unique names anywhere. The old plantation names are full of history. Near where we'll be staying are Sprat Hall, Punch, Bodkin and Hard Labor, Betty's Hope, Peter's Rest and Hubug to name just a few. It all adds to the mystique and unique charm/ But I am rambling.

I would like to start a new toopic...Best places to eat and drink. For myself, food is an important indication of a good place to live. I enjoy all kinds of cuisine and hot and spicy are my favorites. Bring on the jerk seasonings and kalalu.


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FLLisa
(@fllisa)
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Posts: 132
July 29, 2014 7:41 pm  

Do any of you know teachers that moved from the states and are now teaching in STX, either in public or private school?


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speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
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July 30, 2014 12:13 pm  

THEY ARE THERE, but i do not know any


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stxer
(@stxer)
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Joined: 15 years ago
Posts: 184
July 30, 2014 9:15 pm  

Do any of you know teachers that moved from the states and are now teaching in STX, either in public or private school?

"meowruff" is the posting name of two teachers who moved a few years ago. She teaches at Ricardo Richards and is a valued and active member of the community. Why don't you PM them to find out more.


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FLLisa
(@fllisa)
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Joined: 6 years ago
Posts: 132
July 31, 2014 12:30 pm  

Thank you much. I'll do that. By the screen name, I'm guessing she could also be an expert at moving animals there!


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carole
(@carole)
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Posts: 63
July 31, 2014 7:00 pm  

My husband and I are semi retired and own an Ice Cream parlor, it is very difficult to make a living on St Croix. A lot of business don't make it a year, you need a lot of money behind you to keep it afloat until your business kicks in. Working for the Buccaneer like Linda suggested is a good idea, we did that for a few years before we opened our business. The good thing about working for a big hotel is the benefits, you get a good medical insurance. Something we do not have on St Croix if you own your own business. Its best to work for someone first before you start a business on your own. Good luck on whatever venture you decide on. St Croix is a beautiful Island to enjoy when not working.


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speee1dy
(@speee1dy)
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July 31, 2014 7:06 pm  

where is your ice cream store


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