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The shiny, blue and orange Paradise Coffee bags are a morning staple for many of us while staying at CCC. Each bag’s label proudly says “Cayman Islands own boutique roaster.” As a huge coffee lover, I was excited to learn more about Cayman’s very own coffee roaster. Founder and owner, Fritz Sajovitz, kindly invited us to see where the coffee magic happens! We caught Fritz between batches of coffee, and he generously shared about himself and the coffee roasting process. 

Born in Austria, Fritz worked in the restaurant business in Bermuda for 25 years, where he got a lot of industry-level experience with coffee. Once he got married, he began looking for a new line of work to avoid the hectic schedules of the restaurant world. Coffee seemed like the perfect fit, so Fritz and a partner started Coffee Works Bermuda and learned the ropes over the next few years.

In 2006, Fritz made the move to Cayman and founded Paradise Coffee. Originally, Paradise Coffee provided the island with single-serve coffee products (think Keurig) and coffee-based water filtration systems for both the home and office. In 2012, Fritz added the in-house roasted coffee we know and love today, while still offering a full selection of other coffees and coffee-preparation products. 

To learn how to roast coffee, Fritz attended a few technical trainings across the western hemisphere—one in Stanford, Idaho, and another in the beautiful Blue Mountains of Jamaica. With roasting foundations in place, he began the fun part—tinkering. “You’ve got your basic knowledge and then there’s trial and error. You just keep on roasting and roasting and tasting and tasting. And you learn by making mistakes sometimes.”

In order to help ensure your perfect cup, there’s a lot to keep in mind. Fritz explained some of the ins and outs of roasting. “In the roasting process you make the coffee taste the way you want it to taste. It’s not just light, medium, and dark roast. It depends on air flow, on the increase of temperature. If it goes faster than 20 degrees per minute, the coffee will taste different than if it goes 17 degrees per minute.”

Quality and consistency are Fritz's top priorities. He mentioned that, unfortunately, many coffee drinkers are used to the stale taste that goes along with run-of-the-mill grocery store coffee. If you're in this camp, don't worry, Fritz can help. He sets a much shorter "best if enjoyed by" date on each bag of coffee so you can savor peak taste and freshness. 

If you want to hear more technical ins and outs of coffee roasts, check out this video excerpt of our interview.

A Diedrich roaster powers Paradise Coffee, and it can hold 26 pounds of beans per roast. One roast takes around 17-18 minutes, but that can change depending on the flavor profile that’s desired. All in all, this works out to around 3 roasts an hour, up to 500 pounds a day, and 18,000 to 20,000 pounds a year! After that much work, Fritz definitely deserves a cup himself, so I asked how he takes his coffee—with a little bit of milk and sugar in the morning and black in the afternoon.

Next time you’re on island, pick up one of these blue bags of happiness at one of the local grocery stores or stop by Paradise Coffee’s freestanding location off North Sound Road. Our personal favorite blend is Cayman Coconut, but other popular roasts include Cayman Gold, Seven Fathoms (rum-infused!), and Good Morning Cayman. If you stop in, say hi to Fritz, and be sure ask him about his classic Minolta camera—he’s also a camera and photography buff!

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Aside from the breathtaking scenery and the friendly people you meet on the island, one of my favorite parts of visiting Grand Cayman, is all the delicious food to choose from! There's the freshest seafood of course, authentic Italian, Mexican and so much more. You could dine out every night for a week and still not make a dent in all the food Cayman has to offer your willing taste buds.

What happens though, if don't want to go out for every meal or you're tired from a fun filled day on the beach? I say, take a trip to the grocery store first thing and when the time comes you can put that fully equipped kitchen in your condo to good use! 

While staying on the island there are great options to choose from when picking a grocery store. Even better, they are close to the condos! 

Here are the top 3 grocery stores I recommend stopping by to fill up your condo with quick snacks or ingredients to make a delicious meal for a night (or day) in.

1. Foster's Food Fair (Republix Plaza)

Foster's grocery store is your typical go to grocery store. They have a good selection of the food you're used to as well as food unique to the island, all at very affordable prices. This particular Foster's location also has a Priced Right  attached if you find yourself needing more than food. (Does anyone else forget to pack at least 1 thing when they go on a trip?) Priced Right is a warehouse shopping environment similar to Sam's Club or Costco.

Miles from Christopher Columbus Condos: 1 
Hours: 7am-11pm
*Closed on Sundays

2. Kirk Market 

I went to Kirk Market on my second trip to Cayman and was very impressed by the overall look, feel and selection. The store was so clean and organized, which I personally appreciate. Kirk Market's prices are a little bit higher than Foster's, so you'll want to keep that in mind when choosing which store to visit. 

Miles from Christopher Columbus Condos: 5
Hours: 7am-11pm
*Closed on Sundays

3. Hurley's 

If you happen to be in George Town and want to stop at a grocery store on your way back to CCC, Hurley's is a good option. Full disclaimer, Hurley's is the only store I haven't personally visited on this list however, from their website and Facebook page (and their motto) I can tell they are ALL about fresh food. Fresh produce, fresh seafood and freshly prepared entrees and sides ready to eat.

Miles from Christopher Columbus Condos: 8
Hours: 7am-11pm
*Closed on Sundays

Final tip: While you're at one of these stores keep your eyes peeled for the unique differences between the products and brands they carry on the island. It's fun to discover new treats and can be an educational trip if you have any kiddos in tow.

Happy Shopping (and eating)!

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