JIS News

Story Highlights

  • More commonly known as ‘Border’ because of its location, Scott’s Cove, a haven for fish and bammy lovers, has long been a popular ‘chill’ spot for tourists and locals.
  • “We have also seen our fair share of celebrities. In good times and bad times, this will always be one of those locations that people will have on their ‘must see’ list. We had the Prime Minister [the Most Hon. Andrew Holness] stopping by the other day… and we also had the United States Ambassador [to Jamaica, His Excellency Donald Tapia] who made a stop to check us out,” she informed.
  • Mr. Hope, whose specialty is roasted fish with steamed bammy and crackers, added that the vendors are well on top of their game in adhering to the safety guidelines and protocols mandated by the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

With the novel coronavirus (COVID-19) pandemic having taken a toll on tourism-dependent businesses islandwide, vendors at the popular Scott’s Cove food and rest stop on the border of St. Elizabeth and Westmoreland are expressing gratitude to local customers for their continued patronage.

More commonly known as ‘Border’ because of its location, Scott’s Cove, a haven for fish and bammy lovers, has long been a popular ‘chill’ spot for tourists and locals.

The vendors say while business is yet to return to pre-COVID-19 levels, they are none-the-less thankful that they are able to maintain their livelihoods.

“We have to big up our locals,” vendor, Evelyn Hutchinson, emphatically stated to JIS News, while delivering a mouthwatering serving of fried fish and bammy to a customer.

“The tourist business has dried up. But we still have our locals, especially the trip goers or those who are simply passing through the south coast, who continue to give us their support,” she added.

Ms. Hutchinson’s neighbour and friend, Gloria Cunningham, said despite the challenges with COVID-19, Scott’s Cove remain a popular rest stop for hungry travellers, many of whom have been consistent patrons over the years.

“We have also seen our fair share of celebrities. In good times and bad times, this will always be one of those locations that people will have on their ‘must see’ list. We had the Prime Minister [the Most Hon. Andrew Holness] stopping by the other day… and we also had the United States Ambassador [to Jamaica, His Excellency Donald Tapia] who made a stop to check us out,” she informed.

Since undergoing a $15 million upgrade courtesy of J. Wray and Nephew Limited and the Tourism Product Development Company (TPDCo), Scott’s Cove has transformed into a major gastronomy centre that has been fully endorsed by the Ministry of Tourism.

Portfolio Minister, Hon. Edmund Bartlett, said while COVID-19 has taken its toll on businesses in general, places like Scott’s Cove will always remain popular.

“In Scott’s Cove, we have one of those facilities which has been contributing to our tourism product and where our local vendors have been providing culinary delights for our visitors,” he noted.

Mr. Bartlett said the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) that was signed between the Municipalities of St. Elizabeth and Westmoreland in 2017 and the $15 million upgrade represent “a classic example” of what can be accomplished when public and private sector stakeholders collaborate.

For fish vendor, Kevin Hope, “it’s been a rough road; but we have been holding on… [and] not complaining”.

“I have been here, now, for over 20 years and this is where a lot of us make a living to feed our families. We have seen the good and the bad times; but nothing could have prepared us for this challenge. We have been doing our best, though, and still have to give thanks for small mercies,” he told JIS News.

Mr. Hope, whose specialty is roasted fish with steamed bammy and crackers, added that the vendors are well on top of their game in adhering to the safety guidelines and protocols mandated by the Ministry of Health and Wellness.

“We are well aware that safety comes first and that we have to do what is right for ourselves and for our patrons,” he affirmed.

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