Saint Martin 2019: Part 1 - Supermarkets and Bakeries

My husband Brian and I love Saint Martin and are lucky to have parents Nancy and David who have a time share in Sapphire Beach Club Resort in Cupecoy. Nancy and David have been going to Saint Martin every January for about 20 years. They have kindly invited us to join them several times.

We were devastated by the news of hurricane Irma and all the damage it caused to Saint Martin and other islands in the Caribbean. We missed our planned trip in the winter of 2018. The island was a long way from it’s recovery and Sapphire beach resort was nowhere ready to welcome guests. We were looking forward so much to our trip in 2019. I’ve been reading news on Saint Martin and following the Tripadvisor and Traveltalkonline forums on Saint Martin almost daily during the past year. It was great to learn that the island we love was slowly but surely making progress every month.

We arrived to Saint Martin on a direct flight from Newark airport and were happy to see that the Princess Juliana international airport was almost back to normal. After we picked up our rental car and dropped off our luggage at the villa in Sapphire we were ready to get out to go food shopping and see the island for the first time since the hurricane.

Brian and I love shopping at Monoprix located in Bellevue on the main road from Cole Bay into Marigot. We were happy to find it open.

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Monoprix supermarket is large but not overly so.

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It’s fun to browse various types of French produce. We don't snack too much but if we were we would buy a lot of things there.

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We mostly bought produce for breakfast like different types of European hams, french and dutch cheese, salted and unsalted butter. Monoprix has it’s own house plain yogurt that I am pretty obsessed about. It’s not very thick yet it is silky smooth. It’s not sour either and I prefer it to plain yogurts from Fage, Chobani and other good brands in the US.

Monoprix has a good choice of fresh fruit and vegetables, a nice dairy and frozen section as well as the variety of snacks like cookies, nuts, chocolate bars, etc. If you feel adventurous and want to try french produce it’s a good supermarket to shop.

There used to be a small Mono’p where Brian and I would stop on the way to Sapphire from Le Galion beach. Unfortunately it wasn’t open this time though the building looked all right.

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We were pleasantly surprised by the addition of the small Carrefour supermarket in Jordan Village. It’s so close to Sapphire that we stopped there fairly often to buy fresh fruit and water while buying butter, cheese and ham in Monoprix. This new Carrefour has mostly US produce. It was clean and organized and never crowded. For these reasons I liked it much better than the old Carrefour in Cupecoy Village.

We love having breakfasts on the balcony overlooking the sea in Sapphire. For us nothing beats a piece of baguette with good butter, some cheese and ham. We also eat eggs, fruit and croissants for breakfast. Brian cares deeply about coffee and brought 3 bags of freshly roasted coffee beans from Stumptown, a very popular coffee house in NYC.

On previous trips we bought baguettes at La Pariseinne bakery on the road Terres Basses / Baie Nettle. Sadly the bakery doesn’t exist anymore, even the building is gone completely.

I have researched bakeries prior to our trip and Jules’ bakery in Jordan village was highly rated. It became our go-to bakery for our breakfast baguette and pastries daily.

I found their baguette not as good as La Parisienne’s or La Sucriere’s. The crust is not as light and crispy as in the other two but the convenience of being 2 minutes away outweighed the 20 minute drive to La Sucriere. On the other hand, their almond croissant is amazing! It’s the tastiest one we have ever had outside France. We bought 2 every morning. We never got to it at breakfast as there was too much to eat but we took them with us for an after lunch snack on the beach.

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We kept forgetting to take photos of Jule’s bakery even though Brian went there every morning. Here is a crop of the photo that shows their tasty almond croissant and plain croissant which we liked as well.

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Here is a picture of our balcony table being set for breakfast. The old small round table was switched to a nice large table midway through our stay. We divided a baguette into 4 pieces and then each enjoyed his or her share with butter, cheese or ham. We also had eggs, yogurt, fresh fruit accompanied by fresh coffee and tea.

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Our breakfast spread on the new table on the balcony.

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Our breakfasts on the balcony overlooking the beautiful Caribbean sea is one of our favorite pastimes in Saint Martin. Not only do we love what we eat but we also cherish an hour or so together enjoying our meal and conversation. This painting “Villa Breakfast” was inspired by one of our breakfasts on the balcony.

As I mentioned earlier we brewed coffee at the villa but one day Brian and I stopped at “Cape Cafe”, a new coffee shop in Maho.

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It’s located on Rhine Road in Maho and has a nice outside and inside seating.

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It’s a cute coffee shop with coffee, pastry and other coffee related items for sale.

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They have different types of mostly espresso based coffee drinks as well as tea. They also sell pastry, sandwiches and açaí bowls. We only tried iced coffee which was pretty decent.

Besides stopping at Jule’s bakery every morning we frequently stopped at bakeries to buy pastry to bring back to Sapphire for a 5 o’clock snack after a long day on the beach.

We used to stop at Sarafina’s or La Sucriere in Marigot. It was on our way from Le Galion beach. Both bakeries are gone in that location. We checked Sarafina’s new location in Marina Royal one day.

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Brian in front of Sarafina’s. The new location is nice if you’d like to stop and sit down for a bit with a beautiful view of Marina Royal. However, it’s not so convenient if you want to grab and go as you can’t park across from the entrance and run in as we used to do before.

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We were surprised to see that their selection was limited to breads and lunch stuff. We didn’t see eclairs, mille feuilles and chocolate pastry. Hopefully they will expand their selection to their former glory.

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We stopped several times in La Sucriere in Simpson Bay.

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They have a nice selection of pastry including our favorite coffee eclairs.

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They also have Napoleon or mille feuille pastry, which we also like.

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Eating pastry on the balcony after a long beach day is another Saint Martin thing we like to do.

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A new bakery we discovered on this trip was L'Express by Bacchus on the corner of Rue de la Republic and Boulevard de France in Marigot.

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There used to be La Vie En Rose restaurant in the same spot before hurricane Irma. I am so glad that the colorful yellow and blue building next to it wasn’t destroyed by the hurricane.

We only went to L'Express by Bacchus once on the day before our departure to buy some pastry and look for sandwiches for the plane. It was very crowded inside as it is small and is almost across from Marigot market which attracts a lot of tourists.

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I immediately started to salivate seeing all these beauties. It was hard to pick only a couple of pastries.

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I liked that they had mini versions of most of their pastry items. If you want to try something new it’s nice to try it in a small size.

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L'Express by Bacchus also has bread and sandwiches. At that point we decided that we were going to make croissant sandwiches with ham and cheese ourselves. We had all the ingredients back at Sapphire and we got croissants from Jule’s bakery earlier that day.

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It was great to indulge in coffee eclairs and chocolate trianon cake from L'Express by Bacchus before leaving for the airport. We also enjoyed our sandwiches and almond croissants on the plane.

French breads and pastry is something we like to eat a lot when on vacation. I painted several paintings where they are featured prominently.

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Another painting of mine featuring croissant is Still Life with Peonies

Please check out my paintings on my website. Thank you!