Arawak is Back

After a difficult two-year rebuilding period, Arawak’s West End boutique is now open and ready for customers.

Prior to the passage of Hurricane Irma, Arawak’s store and the neighbouring shops, provisioning outposts and restaurants located at Frenchman’s Cay formed an eclectic mainstay on yachting itineraries in the British Virgin Islands.

But after the record-setting Category Five storm ripped apart the docks at Soper’s Hole marina in September 2017, the entire West End community was forced to close its doors.  

Now, after significant reconstruction, Arawak’s boutique is ready to help spearhead the area’s recovery. After reopening in December 2019, the shop partnered with other local businesses in hopes that customers will once again want to return to the far western corner of Tortola. 

“We are open but keenly waiting for the other shops to come back to give West End the draw it had pre-Irma,” explains Alice Lyons, a marketing and sales assistant at Arawak. “Previously, the boaters stopped into West End to replenish food supplies, fuel, ice and shop in the boutiques. Voyage Charters have been amazing and promoted us through their social media and website for their guests. We also offered vouchers for their customers as an incentive for their customers to stock up on clothes, accessories and gifts.”

Pusser’s, Island Surf and Sail, and Omars have all reopened, and both Riteway and Sunny Caribbee Spice Shop and Art Gallery are also set to welcome customers again soon, according to Lyons. 

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“We’re so pleased the West End store is up and running in time for the season,” says Arawak owner Roy Keegan. “It’s wonderful to see tourists coming through and enjoying Sopers Hole again after Irma. So much hard work has gone into the dock renovation since the hurricanes and we can’t wait for all of the businesses to come back, cementing Sopers Hole as a tourist destination once again.” 

Arawak offers numerous items from popular brands like Hurley, Maaji, Roxy, Havaianas, Reef, Seafolly, Quicksilver, and Dakine, among others. The West End shop is one of the company’s three boutique locations. Their Leverick Bay shop reopened in November 2018, and the Nanny Cay location followed suit the next month.

Arawak Interiors, located in Road Reef, resumed business a few months after Irma. The shop sells Balinese teak furniture, homeware lighting, soft furnishing, and gifts.

The company also plans to expand as the BVI continues to build back what it lost in 2017.

“We’re opening a new store in Spanish Town, Virgin Gorda in March,” Lyons notes. “Due to demand on the island, we made the decision to open a new hybrid store, selling items from both our interiors and boutique stores.”

And Arawak may not stop there:

“We’re always on the lookout for new opportunities and store spaces, so watch this space for new store openings,” Lyons adds. “Aside from that, we are continuously on the hunt for new quality clothing lines, new product trends and more variety to keep both the locals and tourists coming back to Arawak.”

 

Sara Sherman
Sara Sherman is a former St. Thomas resident and the editor of Virgin Islands Property & Yacht.
Sara Sherman

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