You won’t find any chain stores or malls here, but there are a surprising number of small shops selling clothing, shoes, electronic goods, hardware, stationery, flowers, and many other items, and most are owned and managed by individuals or families. Because of the relocation from the volcanic areas, especially the capital Plymouth, shops have had to move and rebuild in the northern area all over again, but many have already moved into permanent new premises.
Because there is not yet a new town center (one is planned for the Little Bay area), shops tend to be scattered at intervals along the main road, especially in Brades, very often on a hill with little or no sidewalk, making it difficult or impossible to “walk around the shops”. So expect to make several stops when shopping. There are however a few groups of shops, such as the BBC complex and the Ryan buildings, both on the Brades Main Road, which are developing into mini-shopping areas.
Craft and Souvenir Shops:
For craft lovers there’s a variety of attractive, locally made handicrafts, volcano soaps, gifts and local products to be found on Montserrat, as well as photos and postcards of the volcano. Crafts on sale include handcrafted leather goods, hand woven items from locally grown sea island cotton, T-shirts, volcanic souvenirs made of ash and volcanic rocks, handmade dolls and greeting cards, local preserves such as guava jelly and hot pepper sauce, local music CDs, and books and videotapes on Montserrat. Our National Dress features green and yellow Madras plaid cotton fabric, which is incorporated into many craft items.
EMERALD SPA’S VOLCANO SOAPS & PUMICE – Emerald Spa recently launched the production of and promotion of volcanic soaps – exquisite natural soaps capturing the therapeutic cleansing qualities of Montserrat’s active Soufriere Hills Volcano. These hand made soaps embody a unique fusion of natural volcanic ash, clay and fine sand, fresh local aloe, rosemary, honey, coconut and other natural oil and mineral blends. Bay leaf and lemon grass essential oils and mango fragrance, delicately scent the soaps. The soaps are naturally textured for gentle cleansing abrasion, thus enhancing the radiance of the skin and are complemented by slices of pumice stone from the Soufriere Hills Volcano. The products are now available in Montserrat but plans are made to later extend wholesale order opportunities to other locations.