Bay Market

In reading Alejandro Junger's Clean during our three-week cleanse, I learned the importance of local and organic foods. I've been incorporating some local produce and poultry into our post-cleanse diet, loving our weekly stock of callaloo, cucumbers, and free-range eggs. However, not everything is locally-grown, which is why it's super handy that right across the street from the Camana Bay farmer's market is my favorite shop on the entire island: Bay Market.

Bay Market: Featuring organic, gourmet, and specialty food items
in Grand Cayman.

I debated with myself for a long time about organic food. On the one hand, pesticides and herbicides don't seem like a key part of a balanced diet. On the other hand, all those chemicals do keep away pests, and I certainly don't want to incorporate creepy-crawlies into my dinner plans. And then there's the cost factor. People tend to complain about the price of produce as it is (particularly on this island where almost everything has to be imported), but then add on the cost of organic farming methods, and your grocery budget starts feeling the pinch.

But then I read about detoxification in the Clean book, and since the whole point is to avoid toxins and rid your body of toxic buildup, I figured organic foods would need to play a more prominent role in our lifestyle. Still, I wasn't ready to go full-tilt organic, so I was happy when I stumbled upon information about the "Dirty Dozen" - 12 produce items that should always be purchased organic, due to the high levels of chemicals used in traditional farming methods. I quickly added this tip to my Clean Program Pinterest board, and put a copy in my phone so that when I'm out shopping, I can quickly refer to the list when deciding whether or not to choose the organic variety. Sara over at Me, Redone also put together a great post on this subject, noting the "Clean Fifteen" list - the items that get sprayed the least, which might not be worth paying extra for the organic variety.

Apples: On the Dirty Dozen list.
Avocados: On the Clean Fifteen list.

Anyway, back to Bay Market. I always feel very European when shopping there, as the size of the store and the quantities on the shelves are more conservative than the American mega supermarkets that I'm used to.

Along with a great selection of organic produce, Bay Market features gourmet food items that can be challenging to find in the regular grocery stores. I love their bulk foods section, where I'm always stocking up on just-the-right-amount of raw nuts, chia seeds, and medjool dates.

Although I find some of my healthiest food options in Bay Market, they also carry some guilty pleasures. We were off cheese for a month during the cleanse, but I'll only be able to resist this section of the store for so long...

They also have a terrific antipasto and olive bar, where items are sold by weight.

Their deli-style cases include loads of ready-made salads, which make for perfect dinner options when in a rush after work. Which is most of the time.

And for the lunch crowd, Bay Market has a made-to-order salad/sandwich bar, with many tempting fresh ingredients.

Bay Market also features their own full-service coffee/espresso bar, where the friendly baristas are more than happy to caffeinate your day. And speaking of beverages, I'm excited that Bay Market carries all of Tea Time in Cayman's 31 loose-leaf tea flavors - my latest addiction.

A little side-bar on this tea company: It's owned and managed by two of my friends on island, and their passion for tea is infectious. Recently, I had a small girls' night at my place to introduce ourselves to Downton Abbey Season 1 (yes, we're that behind), and Kelli was gracious enough to pop over with tea samples to give the loose-leaf tea novices (read: me) an intro to using a tea infuser.  I really enjoyed hearing about all the benefits of fresh herbal tea while sniffing through all the tempting samples.

Last, but certainly not least, I also have to mention Bay Market's exceptionally friendly management and staff. Everyone in the store greets me with a smile, helps me find the weird ingredients on my ever-changing grocery list, and have even offered to add items to their inventory when requested. For example, I love making my own hummus (a future post topic) but couldn't find a good brand of tahini. Now I regularly see it on Bay Market's shelves.

I think the bottom line is that no matter where you get your healthy food - whether at the farmer's market or one of larger grocery stores or at Bay Market - we in Cayman should feel richly blessed to have such high quality options available to us on this tiny Caribbean island. I might not have the ability to visit the likes of Wegman's, Whole Foods, and Trader Joe's on a regular basis, but I'm pretty satisfied with what's located just down the road. 

Bay Market makes me healthy, and being healthy makes me happy. Bay Market is my happy place.


  1. good post! i'm going to check out the dirty 12 and clean 15 lists now. also, i wish i was there for the Downton Abbey marathon! i've been wanting to watch it for a while, but brent's obviously not on board.

    1. I can't talk N into it either, although I've heard of other reputable males that get into the show. :)

  2. Love this ! Eden is one of my favorite brands and I live at the bulk aisle at my market! I'll have to check this place out if I make it down to GC.

  3. would love to have that around the corner! yes, i know. tJ's and wegmans are a mere hour, but still, sometimes that "european" feel of having a specific selection is way better than the overwhelming amount we've got here in our supermarkets. looks like you found an amazing source for some good eats!! ;)

    and all I said was: "just give it a quick try" and P will watch some DA with me. don't tell. ;) glad you're catching up! it's a great, interesting show.