By Angela U Burns
Good nutrition and healthy eating are important if one wants to enjoy the benefits of a healthy lifestyle.
If that’s you, if you want to secure your health and that of the next generation, if you want to have strong bones and teeth, lose weight, reduce the risk of cancer, heart problems and stroke, manage your diabetes, improve your memory and just be in a better mood, welcome to Camdem Gourmet Market.
Located at the Cyril B. Romney Tortola Pier Park, in Road Town, CGM is a homegrown family business that is unique in many aspects.
One of the principals, Chad Maduro, sat down with VI Life & Style Magazine on a busy lunch day to share the evolution of this popular eatery and retail outlet.
As we get past wondering about the name and getting it right (Cam – Chad’s initials and dem: yeah, as we say in the islands ‘dem’, meaning them, family, a Gourmet Market for all of us), Chad made it clear that this indeed was the original intention of Camdem Gourmet Market.
“That’s really our mantra: to eat and enjoy a healthy lifestyle,” he declared, “and we spent some time trying to figure out what our model would be in terms of the items we offer, the equipment we use and the look of the interior.”
Maduro said Camdem Gourmet Market is an opportunity for his family to invest in the community and provide a healthier choice of places for everyone to eat.
So here you will find that 90% of what’s sold in the retail section would be organic and gluten-free, including the grab and go snacks. In addition, the meals are prepared along the same lines of engendering a healthier lifestyle.
In terms of drinks, all are low in sugar or sodium content.
Camdem Gourmet Market opened its doors to the public in December 2016, with the owners and staff excited to be part of something new and great: the state of the art cruise ship welcome facility on Wickham’s Cay.
“We wanted to capitalize on the tourist market, but most of all the local market and offer something unique with our open kitchen and our high-quality gourmet products,” the owner stated. “So we offer scratch-made, raw, vegan, vegetarian, gluten-free and British favourites including meat pies, soups, salads, sandwiches, and desserts. We also offer specialty deli, gourmet and gluten-free merchandise.”
Residents and visitors alike have been enjoying the savoury dishes at Camdem Gourmet Market and absolutely loving it. CGM is open six days a week, closed on Sundays.
On the Salad menu: Caesar Salad, Nicoise Salad, Greek Salad, Camdem Green Queen Salad, and Roasted Butternut Squash, Kale and Quinoa Salad.
The Soup offerings change daily and include Roasted Carrot Leek, Thai Chicken Coconut Lemongrass, Curried Butternut Squash & Apple, Tomato Lentil Soup, Vegan and Conch Soup.
The Sandwich options include Wraps, Subs and Panini prepared as you like it, with ingredients such as hummus, cucumber, tomatoes, carrots, lettuce, spinach, eggplants, zucchini, mushrooms, chickpeas, yogurt herb spread, beef and lamb, turkey breast, jerk chicken breast, oil poached tuna, plantain mash and white bean salad, flavoured with no mayo slaw, cheddar cheese, onions and peppers, mustard, apples and or mango chutney.
Specific breakfast items would be Scotch Eggs with Mustard Sauce, Oats with Fruits, Nuts & Maple Syrup, a Breakfast Sandwich with eggs, cheese, tomato, lettuce, mayo on baguette, with or without veggies and meat or a Fruit Bowl.
Then for Meat and Vegetable Pies, there is a Chicken, Leek and Mushroom Pie, Steak and Ale Pie, Tamale Pie or Vegetable Pie.
Of course, you can get your desserts, muffins and pastries, including Mango Cheesecake, Fresh Ginger Muffin, Vegan Banana Bread, Chocolate Croissant and Bread Pudding, along with a variety of local drinks.
A major feature at Camdem Gourmet Market is their Smoothies. One can order a Caribberry, Mango Pineapple Cleanser, Chocolate Peanut Butter Banana or Superfood Pumpkin Pie; or you can choose to purchase the Organic Superfood Smoothie Add-ins in the retail section – Organic Black Seeds, Milled and Whole Flaxseed, Hemp Seeds, Cacao Nibs, Red Maca Powder, Raw Organic Maca Powder (one of the best-sellers as it boosts energy for men and women), Goji Berry Powder, Beet Powder, Pomegranate Powder, Raw Organic Chia Seeds and Mulberries – and make your own smoothie.
“One thing we’ve been pushing more and more is our vegan options and that’s really taking off,” Maduro mentioned.
So every day, there’s a fresh new vegan offering thanks to new Chef Audley Thompson of Barbados, who brings a wealth of international culinary experience to the Virgin Islands, having spent many years working on cruise ships, various resorts and stadiums. He provides the Caribbean option with international exposure.
Chef Audley joined Camdem Gourmet Market in May 2019 and has brought some fresh energy to the business. The customers with whom he interacts in-store and via his WhatsApp Group, can surely attest to this.
“We make our meals as interesting as possible. We mix it up and I’m also happy to share my knowledge with everyone coming in,” Chef Audley said. “It’s all about a healthy lifestyle, healthy eating, and wholesomeness.”
He noted that the menu includes mainly chicken, fish or beef and vegan dishes every day and notably does not include any pork products. Products are sourced from local farmers, while some are imported.
“My aim really is also to bring more catering business for Camdem Gourmet Market,” he said. “I want to be the main guy in BVI when it comes to eating healthy. We already have some faithful and repeat customers and through this, a database is being developed and I will continue to keep our customers informed about our specials and any new products.”
Camdem Gourmet Market is available to host special events for individuals and groups. Events in the past have incorporated the use of the courtyard and featured their selection of wines and spirits and entertainment, including steel pan music.
The principals are grateful to the staff and for the support of the public over the past three years. They are already looking to make some improvements to the menu, extend changes in the operating hours and expand locally, regionally and globally.
All are welcome to stop by Camdem Gourmet Market at the Pier Park, call 284 346 5100, or visit Camdem Gourmet Market on Facebook.