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What is needed/wanted?

(@peachey)
Posts: 36
Eminent Member
Topic starter
 

Hey everyone, just joined the forum today. Like many others, my wife and I are seeking relocation to the islands. Specifically St. Croix. We are looking to open a small business there, but I want to have some ideas as to what would work well there. I know offerings are limited, but they have the basics covered. What would be a business you feel would be a good fit?

My wife and I have run several business over the last 10 years, and are in the process of selling them off to move. We are looking for something that locals and tourists alike would say.... I wish we had a _____ here.. Please fill in the blank.

We are coming down in June for a two week trip to explore. Renting a studio apartment with a kitchen so we can experience the costs associated with food preparation ect.

Any input would be greatly appreciated!

 
Posted : March 9, 2015 2:46 am
CruzanIron
(@cruzaniron)
Posts: 2533
Famed Member
 

Frozen yogurt shop

 
Posted : March 9, 2015 7:56 am
(@Phizz)
Posts: 164
Estimable Member
 

Frozen yogurt shop(tu) I was in F'sted the other day, and cruise ship passengers were looking for ice cream!!

 
Posted : March 9, 2015 10:19 am
(@the-oldtart)
Posts: 6523
Illustrious Member
 

You need to be very proactive when thinking of opening a business here and I don't recommend doing it until you've lived and worked here (for someone else) for at least a couple of years. As big as is the attrition of newcomers in general, it's just as large as for those opening businesses but with the financial losses much greater.

You'll get a list of "needs/wants" from forum subscribers but if it's not already here there's a good reason why it's not!

 
Posted : March 9, 2015 10:26 am
(@alana33)
Posts: 12366
Illustrious Member
 

If you open a frozen yogurt shop (yuck - sorry but I'll take a really good hot fudge Sunday, any day over yogurt) make sure you have a good back up generator or you will end up with melted yogurt when the power goes off. Be prepared to pay WAPA highly for all those freezer units needed in any case.

 
Posted : March 9, 2015 11:03 am
(@vicanuck)
Posts: 2934
Famed Member
 

Burger King and or Starbucks will work for me. Oh...and a 10 minute oil change. Perhaps all three under one roof.

 
Posted : March 9, 2015 11:07 am
(@speee1dy)
Posts: 8867
Illustrious Member
 

a good donut shop

 
Posted : March 9, 2015 11:23 am
(@afriend)
Posts: 525
Honorable Member
 

Old tart makes a very valid point with: "if it's not already here there's a good reason why it's not!".

I spent some time in North Texas and a specialty store open up selling all kinds of seafood. At first they offered something like 40 or 50 different kinds of regular and shell fish - perfect for those of us love seafood. After a few months this great selection dwindled down to salmon, catfish, trout and some shrimp - those were the only items that sold with any consistency. When that happened the "specialty shop's" selections were no different then you could find at any of the local "chain" grocery stores. The shop closed up after 2 years.

Now, there are lot of things I need on the island where I live but I doubt I'd be able to purchase enough of any given item to make it worth your while to open a store just for my benefit.

 
Posted : March 9, 2015 3:03 pm
(@peachey)
Posts: 36
Eminent Member
Topic starter
 

Frozen yogurt shop(tu) I was in F'sted the other day, and cruise ship passengers were looking for ice cream!!

I had read somewhere that Ice cream shops were lacking, but then found a few online. I didn't think specifically about frozen yogurt. Thank You!

 
Posted : March 9, 2015 3:11 pm
(@peachey)
Posts: 36
Eminent Member
Topic starter
 

You need to be very proactive when thinking of opening a business here and I don't recommend doing it until you've lived and worked here (for someone else) for at least a couple of years. As big as is the attrition of newcomers in general, it's just as large as for those opening businesses but with the financial losses much greater.

You'll get a list of "needs/wants" from forum subscribers but if it's not already here there's a good reason why it's not!

That is some good advice. We plan to settle in before opening a business, at least for a short period. I get bored easily, and will want something to do. After being my own boss for so long now, I can't imagine going to work for anyone else.

I know all about the financial losses and gains of opening a business, I've had a couple doozies go both ways. 🙂

 
Posted : March 9, 2015 3:13 pm
(@peachey)
Posts: 36
Eminent Member
Topic starter
 

Burger King and or Starbucks will work for me. Oh...and a 10 minute oil change. Perhaps all three under one roof.

That is a heck of a list. Burger King and Starbucks are out of the question for multiple reasons. Both financial and logistical. I don't do franchises as they tend to be the one to make money while the franchisee suffers.

Automotive related, I have never gotten into, but I wouldn't rule it out. 🙂

 
Posted : March 9, 2015 3:16 pm
(@peachey)
Posts: 36
Eminent Member
Topic starter
 

a good donut shop

Donuts and Frozen Yogurt. Put your hands together!

 
Posted : March 9, 2015 3:32 pm
(@peachey)
Posts: 36
Eminent Member
Topic starter
 

Jaccar Organic & Natural Sorbet is for sale in Christiansted. Any feedback on them? Owner wants to retire, they seem to have good Yelp and Trip Adviser reviews, but I don't always trust those.

 
Posted : March 9, 2015 3:38 pm
(@the-oldtart)
Posts: 6523
Illustrious Member
 

I know all about the financial losses and gains of opening a business, I've had a couple doozies go both ways. 🙂

All I can tell you is that however many businesses you've operated within the continental US, doing business here is entirely outside that sphere.

 
Posted : March 9, 2015 3:38 pm
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Posts: 2460
Famed Member
 

Operating any business here will only work for you if you enjoy the work part of it - whether it is the manual labor, the mental energy required or the management part of sales or service. It is way more important here to do what excites you - could you be personally inspired to get up and make donuts at 4am, change oil all day, operate a franchise like Starbucks or make frozen treats???? - or enjoy managing the people who are doing these things for you???? I feel this is the crux of any successful business here - or anywhere I guess.
There is every opportunity imaginable here - running a sailboat, having a restaurant, operating a medical clinic, providing financial services, selling a product, repairing almost anything, creating art objects and on and on - all businesses here have hurdles - some more than others with licensing, knowledge, capital expense etc. but if you don't have a personal desire to be happy doing it, why bother?
You could paint houses or own a painting company, you could fix or sell computers, you could fix automobiles or own a car parts store - it is all about scale and your own abilities.
It is a diverse community of 50 - 60 thousand people who have many different needs and preferences living on an island with a cumbersome supply line and an aberrant infrastructure - use your visit here to feel out a comfort level that works for you - and the idea suggested of working for some one else is a valid point to consider before you invest in your dream. Welcome to the forum - there are lots of opinions here about life as it is being lived in the USVI.

 
Posted : March 9, 2015 3:41 pm
(@the-oldtart)
Posts: 6523
Illustrious Member
 

Jaccar Organic & Natural Sorbet is for sale in Christiansted. Any feedback on them? Owner wants to retire, they seem to have good Yelp and Trip Adviser reviews, but I don't always trust those.

You may have already seen this article - they too worked for several years for others before opening up their own business:

http://stcroixsource.com/content/news/local-news/2010/07/05/work-jaccar-organic-natural-sorbets

 
Posted : March 9, 2015 3:44 pm
Exit Zero
(@exit-zero)
Posts: 2460
Famed Member
 

STT needs a bookstore!

 
Posted : March 9, 2015 3:51 pm
(@peachey)
Posts: 36
Eminent Member
Topic starter
 

Jaccar Organic & Natural Sorbet is for sale in Christiansted. Any feedback on them? Owner wants to retire, they seem to have good Yelp and Trip Adviser reviews, but I don't always trust those.

You may have already seen this article - they too worked for several years for others before opening up their own business:

http://stcroixsource.com/content/news/local-news/2010/07/05/work-jaccar-organic-natural-sorbets

I hadn't seen that one yet. Thank you. It's always good to read about the storied of others that have traveled a similar path.

 
Posted : March 9, 2015 3:56 pm
(@peachey)
Posts: 36
Eminent Member
Topic starter
 

STT needs a bookstore!

I do love a good bookstore, but they just don't make financial sense anymore. They are disappearing everywhere. Independent book stores can't survive, and I think that statement would be even more compounded in a small area. Thanks for the suggestion though!

 
Posted : March 9, 2015 3:58 pm
(@peachey)
Posts: 36
Eminent Member
Topic starter
 

Operating any business here will only work for you if you enjoy the work part of it - whether it is the manual labor, the mental energy required or the management part of sales or service. It is way more important here to do what excites you - could you be personally inspired to get up and make donuts at 4am, change oil all day, operate a franchise like Starbucks or make frozen treats???? - or enjoy managing the people who are doing these things for you???? I feel this is the crux of any successful business here - or anywhere I guess.
There is every opportunity imaginable here - running a sailboat, having a restaurant, operating a medical clinic, providing financial services, selling a product, repairing almost anything, creating art objects and on and on - all businesses here have hurdles - some more than others with licensing, knowledge, capital expense etc. but if you don't have a personal desire to be happy doing it, why bother?
You could paint houses or own a painting company, you could fix or sell computers, you could fix automobiles or own a car parts store - it is all about scale and your own abilities.
It is a diverse community of 50 - 60 thousand people who have many different needs and preferences living on an island with a cumbersome supply line and an aberrant infrastructure - use your visit here to feel out a comfort level that works for you - and the idea suggested of working for some one else is a valid point to consider before you invest in your dream. Welcome to the forum - there are lots of opinions here about life as it is being lived in the USVI.

You do have to love your business, I agree with you there. I love all business though. I'm a numbers junkie, I love to manage, and I love doing the work as well as providing work for others.

The trip we are taking this year will probably be the first of three before making the move. We want to make sure we have as good a view on everything as we can. Your post took some time to write, I appreciate your feedback. Like I said, I want as much information as possible before making any decisions.

 
Posted : March 9, 2015 4:01 pm
(@vicanuck)
Posts: 2934
Famed Member
 

Jaquar is a unique little spot in Gallows Bay. They make very tasty frozen sorbet. Its in an out of the way location but has built up a bit of a following.

I know of a craft beer distributorship with retail outlet that is for sale.

 
Posted : March 9, 2015 5:26 pm
(@dougtamjj)
Posts: 2596
Famed Member
 

Marine electricians are needed on the island. I don't know of any.

Exit Zero has it right. There is opportunity on the island and your ability and knowledge are the key.

When we decided to move to St. Croix we had intended on bringing our businesses with us. After investigating we found that logistically it would not work as we depend on shipping world wide.

One of our businesses is buying and selling surplus and I think a surplus store on St. Croix would work very well. Parts. All kinds of parts. We buy government liquidation and from auctions of large businesses. If you had a large warehouse stocking all kinds of reusable and new surplus stuff, every man and a lot of women on island would flock to your store. The only downside I can think of would be theft prevention. You would have to have 24 hour security and cameras everywhere.

Tammy

 
Posted : March 9, 2015 5:36 pm
(@peachey)
Posts: 36
Eminent Member
Topic starter
 

Marine electricians are needed on the island. I don't know of any.

Exit Zero has it right. There is opportunity on the island and your ability and knowledge are the key.

When we decided to move to St. Croix we had intended on bringing our businesses with us. After investigating we found that logistically it would not work as we depend on shipping world wide.

One of our businesses is buying and selling surplus and I think a surplus store on St. Croix would work very well. Parts. All kinds of parts. We buy government liquidation and from auctions of large businesses. If you had a large warehouse stocking all kinds of reusable and new surplus stuff, every man and a lot of women on island would flock to your store. The only downside I can think of would be theft prevention. You would have to have 24 hour security and cameras everywhere.

Tammy

The only businesses we are "bringing with us" are internet companies that provide a nice income stream. Nothing else would work logistically, for the same reasons you saw of your own.

Surplus is an interesting idea, I believe you on the extra security. Trouble doesn't hide in paradise. I know there are good pockets and bad pockets, but the crime will come to any area if you entice it enough.

It's good to hear that opportunity does exist, it's just finding which opportunity to move forward with.

 
Posted : March 9, 2015 5:59 pm
(@dougtamjj)
Posts: 2596
Famed Member
 

It doesn't matter where you live. I have a surplus warehouse in Virginia and have to have 24 hour security. I cannot tell you how many times we have been robbed. We always catch them but cannot stop them.

 
Posted : March 9, 2015 6:13 pm
(@afriend)
Posts: 525
Honorable Member
 

Peachy - the comments in your posts indicate you have a good attitude and good business & common sense. That will go a long way toward being successful. Use your PMV time wisely and, if you do choose to relocate, research your planned businesses very carefully as, like others have said, doing business in the Caribbean presents a lot of challenges. You are fortunate you have your internet companies that will provide an income streams while you research business. That gives you a cushion many others don't have.

Good luck following your dream. I wish you success.

 
Posted : March 9, 2015 6:28 pm
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