Vendors in Dockyard are gearing up for a busy season as Bermuda prepares to host 180 cruise ships bringing tens of thousands more visitors than last year.
Top Dog, Duch Pops, 9 Parishes, Positive Energy, Churchill’s Ltd and Bermuda Fudge Co all have their stalls up and running near the new Visitor Information Centre. Sunset Studio will join them from August.
For Chris Furbert, who runs 9 Parishes, and Barbara Dillas, who owns Sunset Studio, it will be the first time they have set up at Dockyard.
Mr Furbert hopes to tempt tourists with his Rum Swizzle, which he makes at his base in Southampton. “I chose this location to capture the cruise ship passengers as they travel through Dockyard,” he said. “Dockyard is an ideal location to sell and market my product due to the captive customer base from the cruise ships as well as locals who visit the area to buy Bermuda-made goods.”
Freelance artist Mrs Dillas, an art teacher for 29 years, said: “I would like to expand my business and get more exposure after spending time many years ago selling in the hotels. I haven’t shown my work in the outside market too much, but I have always enjoyed connecting with tourists and would like them to have an opportunity to meet the artist.”
Tracey Smith runs Top Dog, which sells hot dogs, refreshments and snacks, and has been a vendor in Dockyard for more than a decade. “I have seen major transformations and every year Dockyard keeps bettering itself which is a boost for Bermuda. That’s why it’s the best place for me to be.”
And Rickeisha Burgess, who runs Duch Pops Bermuda which makes gourmet Popsicles, will be returning for a third year, says: “Being at Dockyard has helped tremendously with the success of my business. I set up in Dockyard because I had been previously working in the area for more than a decade and it just made sense to establish roots in the same area.”
It will be Lucinda Worrell-Stowe’s second year at Dockyard as a vendor and she said she wanted to return because it has proved to be a very profitable venture.
“I have been in business and selling Bermuda Ocean Candles for over 17 years and now work alongside my son who has taken an interest in creating these candles which are translucent depicting an ocean scene with Bermuda pink sand and shells.”
Asked what she liked the best about Dockyard, she said: “I like sharing the history of our island with the tourists. We get to meet a great deal of tourists from the United States and different parts of the world and the atmosphere is great.”
Sarah Burrows used to run Bermuda Fudge Co from a space in The Mall but this year decided to operate as a vendor. “I wanted to be closer to the action and have the ability to be open during the evening.
“Dockyard has such a rich history, which my family was part of like many other Bermudians. It is a place in which you have the opportunity as an owner-operator to interact with our visitors. I have met many amazing visitors over the past years and look forward to meeting many more.”
Joanna Cranfield, the business development manager at the West End Development Corporation, said she was delighted to welcome the new vendors as well as seeing the more established stalls coming back for another season.
“They all offer something different and help to bring even more variety and even more life to Dockyard,” said Ms Cranfield. “I am sure they will all be very popular with our visitors as well as locals.”
Bermuda is expected to receive 180 cruise ship calls bringing approximately 470,000 passengers — amounting to 19 more cruise ship calls and 53,500 more passengers in 2018 over 2017.