A taste of the Caribbean has arrived in Eastleigh Road, Devizes, with the opening of a new shop dedicated to the ingredients for best West Indian cuisine.
Rosemary Springer, a mother of four grown-up sons, only moved to the town and a flat above the shop a month ago but already she has made a big hit with her neighbours and is grateful for their support in her new enterprise.
She said: “Devizes people are very warm and the help and advice I have had from my neighbours is terrific. They are looking after my welfare and see me as someone coming in with something different.”
The small shop is bursting at the seams with ingredients from fresh plantains to bottles, tins and jars of sauces, spices and herbs.
Mrs Springer moved to Wiltshire from Brixton in London, first opening a shop in Tidworth, which she has now closed. She said: “The area is so military. I want to be in a place that is civilian as well as military.”
The shop in the parade at Eastleigh Road rubs shoulders with more traditional fish and chips and a Chinese takeaway. It is to be called Roseapple and the signage will be going up before Mrs Springer’s grand opening on Saturday.
The opening will include a Caribbean feast with jerk chicken, curried goat, fish dishes and puddings made from sweet potato and other traditional ingredients, while the famous Manish water will be offered to wash it all down.
Mrs Springer said: “There will be lots of music as well – reggae, soca and mento – which will keep everyone moving.
“It’s going to be a lot fun and a day to remember.”
She added: “With determination, patience and the support of local people, I know I am going to succeed.”
But the shop is just the first phase of Mrs Springer’s plans to convert Devizes people to the tastes of the Caribbean. She is already looking for premises in which to run a Jamaican takeaway.
She said: “I want somewhere that is already established as a food outlet, so I am keeping my eyes peeled.”