There was no mad rush for doubles in Tobago, today, Monday July 19th, as originally anticipated. Most vendors hit the street around 6 am, but not all vendors opened for business.
At Bon Accord, the popular Boss Doubles operated by Camille Samaroo and Yasmin Persad at the Stumpy’s Emporium compound, got off to a good start.
Samaroo said she did not anticipate that many customers would come out. Persad said the last two months of closure crippled many vendors.
“Coming out after so long it’s really, really great. The lockdown was really hard, and we are trying to put back an establishment to rebuild. Financially, it nearly crippled us and we hope to make a comeback,” Camille Samaroo told Guardian Media.
She said despite increases to the price of oil and flour, they hope to keep prices down. She said once sales volumes are up, the industry can be sustainable.
Customers in Tobago were happy with the reopening of the food sector, today.
“Too long I home, I needed this doubles! I needed this,” said Brad Smith, who bought 11 doubles.
“Rowley suffered us for too long,” Smith added, as he sank his teeth into doubles after entering a vehicle.
Tireek Bruce said he was in pain and emotionally distraught after two months of being without his favourite street food.
“I was in pain. I just glad they came out,” Tireek Bruce told us.
At Scarborough, there was one vendor without a large crowd but a constant flow of customers.
Premwatee Deonanan, who has been selling in Tobago for the last 20 years, said she was unable to come out to sell on Monday.
She told Guardian Media: “The last two months were hard. I have rent to pay, and no assistance came forward. I didn’t even get a hamper and the bills are piling up.”
Deonanan said a lot of customers are domestic tourists. She said without the usual flow of tourists, sales may not increase until the domestic tourism sector re-opens