In as little as three weeks Bodden Town will be home to a new arts and crafts shop featuring only things Caymanian.
The striking two storey establishment with a picturesque view of the sea will also be home to proprietors Elbert Forbes and Krista Silcox, a coffee shop and an art studio. It’s next door to the Bodden Town Pirates Caves Gift Shop.
Also on the property will be nine Caymanian styled bungalows and a guest house.
But what really makes this establishment so enchanting and unique is that it will feature the works of some of Cayman’s finest cooks and artisans.
Straw hats, bags and baskets adorned with colorful decorations, an interesting assortment of handcrafted wood, coral and seashell pieces, paintings, art supplies, some of the finest fruits and vegetables, breads, heavy cakes, jams, buns, candies, jellies and drinks that Cayman has to offer will be on sale.
‘What we are trying to create here is a truly unique Caymanian experience for residents and tourists to enjoy,’ said Mr. Forbes.
‘When visitors come to Cayman they want to see and buy some thing that is native to Cayman. They do not want to come to Cayman and have to buy trinkets and souvenirs stamped made in China or Jamaica. No foreign art or craft will be imported into the shop; all the supplies and work displayed in the store will be made by Caymanians and stamped 100 hundred per cent Caymanian.
‘Even the building is steeped in Caymanian history,’ said Mr. Forbes.
The Bodden Town Art Shop is a refurbished 100-year-old wattle and daub building first owned by Maggie Webster, which became home to Laurel Wood.
The art and craft shop on the lower floor at the main entrance will have an extensive collection of fine Caymanian arts and crafts.
Mr. Forbes is a George Town native and owner of Professional Waste Management. Ms Silcox moved to Cayman three years ago from Minneapolis. With similar dreams, they set about providing a cultural, back-to- nature establishment for people to enjoy.
Ms Silcox loves to paint with watercolour and acrylic on canvas. She will teach art classes on the premises.
The coffee shop, which Mr. Forbes and Ms Silcox say is the main attraction, will offer some of the finest treats.
It is on the lower floor to the right of the building.
A long patio leading to the front of the building has a scenic view of the sea; this area will have tables and chairs.
On offer will be fresh bread slices smothered with jams and jellies and other fresh fruits.
Cake slices made from cassava, yam, pumpkin, breadfruit, cocoa, corn and other produce and fruits will also be sold.
‘The nine Cayman style bungalows located at the back of the property will be built like those that were here in the 1940s,’ said Mr. Forbes.
‘These will be nestled among Cayman indigenous vegetation that has been left in place.’ said Mr. Forbes.
There are also a lot of local wild animals such as agoutis, chickens, iguanas, and birds on the property. A huge rock wall surrounding the property will help to protect and allow the animals to roam free.
To the left of the art shop will be a three storey building, which will contain an office, a massage parlour and at the top will be a high class restaurant. All foods sold in the restaurant will be local cuisine, said Mr. Forbes.
Other amenities include Jacuzzis, swimming pools and hot tubs.
The owners also own property on the seaside across the road.
On the beach will be cabanas, jet skies, beach chairs, towels and painting classes for children and adults.
Another interesting aspect of the Bodden Town establishment is that it will feature a part of the home and works of one of Cayman’s visionary artist, Gladwyn ‘Lassie’ Bush of South Sound.
Mr. Forbes said he was fortunate to acquire the old kitchen and all its markings, which he has taken apart and transported to Bodden Town.
‘The old kitchen will be a part of the coffee shop with original paints done by Miss Lassie,’ he said.
‘Opening an arts and craft shop in the home of Miss Lassie was always a dream I had with her son Richie, but when we got the OK to start, my friend Richie died and the plans were scrapped.
‘By doing this I am making his dream and my dream come true.’
Miss Lassie passed away in 2003 at the age of 89. At the age of 62 she had a visionary experience and began painting.
Much of her artwork inspired by dreams and visions was painted on canvas, kitchen jugs, furniture and even the walls and windows of her home.
The National Cultural Foundation has a number of Miss Lassie’s artworks in its collection and produced a book of her works called My Markings.
Her home and property was put up for sale with a price tag of 1.6 million.