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Foster’s anniversary

Business 16 Dec, 2021 Follow News

Fosters Food Fair opened on 10 December 1980

10 December, 1980

 

To many in the Cayman Islands “I’m going to Foster’s” is another way of saying “I’m off to the supermarket”, because the supermarket chain has become synonymous with most people’s idea of shopping, so beloved has it become by the nation. Today, you will find a Foster’s at several convenient locations around the island, its flagship and newest store at Camana Bay, its original and still highly popular store at the airport centre, its Republix store in West Bay, a well-stocked store at the Countryside shopping complex in Savannah and the little store at East End that is immensely convenient for those who live out East.

However, for all its success today, its roots were incredibly humble, when the trio led by David Foster, his brother Steve Steve Foster and his mother Alta Foster first decided to establish a modest supermarket that would better serve the growing population of this popular island. And so, on 10 December, 1980, the Foster’s Food Fair Airport Store opened with less than 6,000 sq ft. of store and just 25 employees. It was, none-the-less, a huge step forward for supermarket shopping in the Cayman Islands, offering residents more choice than ever before at a better price than they had ever experienced.

Things got off to a flying start for Foster’s in the 1980s, considerably aided by a new warehouse erected in 1982 which allowed for wholesale cash and carry purchasing. A new store called The Greenery opened up on Seven Mile Beach in 1985 which eventually expanded to 14,400 feet by the end of the decade. That store was replaced with The Strand store in 1997, at the time the newest and most exciting supermarket Cayman had seen in a long time, stocking items such as Waitrose products from the UK. A pharmacy within the store complemented the supermarket’s offering.

In 1999 the Republix store opened in West Bay and in that same year Foster’s Food Fair joined the IGA Group of Grocers and was renamed Foster’s Food Fair IGA. Fort Street Market also opened in 1999, a hub for the community, businesses and tourists in downtown George Town.

In 2004 the island was devastated by Hurricane Ivan, however Foster’s Airport store was able to play an active role in ensuring Cayman residents did not go hungry, providing food and water for those who needed it. In the aftermath of Ivan, the Republix and Strand stores were renovated and in 2005 Priced Right opened at the Airport Centre, allowing residents to bulk buy at cheaper prices. The following year, Foster’s Express opened at East End and in 2006 Foster’s opened at the Countryside Shopping Village in Savannah.

Camana Bay began evolving as a central hub for residents soon afterwards and so Foster’s opened their gourmet and speciality store, Bay Market there in 2012. Various accolades and expansions followed, along with the breaking of ground in 2018 of their flagship store at Camana Bay, which eventually opened on 31 October 2019, a full 60,000 sq. ft. of brilliant shopping that has become a focal point for Camana Bay and a delight in which to shop.


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