‘Fall in Love with Barbados’: Innovative New Co-Working Space Opens at Limegrove
by Karen Rollins Sep 14, 2020
A new co-working space for remote workers and digital nomads has opened its doors in Barbados.
Situated at the Limegrove Lifestyle Centre in St James, the shared workspace called ‘fall in love with Barbados’, is one of only a few dedicated co-working spaces on the island.
‘Fall in love with Barbados’ opened its doors a couple of weeks ago, just as the island ramps up efforts to promote itself as an ideal location for remote workers through its ‘Welcome Stamp‘ programme.
Mikaela Warden, the marketing and brand development manager for ‘fall in love with Barbados’, says the concept is already proving popular with locals and tourists.
She explained the idea behind the initiative to Yello: “We really thought Barbados needed a co-working space. The island’s café culture is growing, but there is no designated space where workers can stay for a couple of hours without feeling they’re imposing.
“It’s really intended for people who don’t have a physical office, or their offices are closed right now because of COVID. So, they’re coming in to get a coffee, some good food, and to get some work done.”
She adds: “The response has been amazing. People seem to like the concept. There’s also a good flow of people coming and going at different times of the day. It’s definitely a casual but dynamic space.”
Anyone can utilise the co-working facility (there is no register or fee), but people are encouraged to buy items from sister company ‘Food Stories Barbados’ which provides organic, healthy, plant-based meals and drinks.
“Everything in the store is for sale,” Mikaela says. “Most people are respectful and seem to understand that we can’t provide this without support. The majority of people will buy something, and we appreciate every contribution.”
The ‘fall in love with Barbados’ brand was originally conceived by businesswoman Anna Petrova. She previously owned ‘Monkey Puzzle’, a baby and children’s designer clothes and toy store, which operated from the same retail location in Limegrove.
After deciding to close ‘Monkey Puzzle’ in August 2020, Anna thought a co-working pop-up would be an ideal fit for the site, especially as more people are working remotely because of the coronavirus pandemic.
Anna, who is married to a Barbadian and raised her four children on the island, is currently splitting her time between Barbados and the UK.
Mikaela says: “This is definitely a passion project for Anna. She has so much love for Barbados.”
In addition to providing remote workers with a place to set up for the day, ‘fall in love with Barbados’ is also on a mission to showcase local artisans.
The shelves and walls display uniquely Barbadian products from various creatives who have been carefully selected by Anna, Mikaela and other members of staff.
“It was definitely a collaborative effort with the makers and producers to create an accessible and open space and give them a storefront of their own,” Mikaela states.
“Eventually we’ll switch stock and reintroduce new makers because we really want to showcase lots of different small businesses.
“We’ll keep items that are really in demand, but the goal is to highlight as many people as we can. We also have a co-branded website, so whoever doesn’t get in the shop because of limited room, could be showcased on there,” she explains.
Speaking from the UK, Anna adds: “There is so much talent in Barbados. The makers are happy with the support because they put their heart and soul into what they create, and it’s all very special. We are happy to help promote the local business community.”
Anna and Mikaela have ambitious plans to develop ‘fall in love with Barbados’ including making the space available for small business owners to host networking events and share more about their work.
Anna says: “We’re using the existing space right now, but it would be great to expand in the future. We really want it to become a place where people can hold interactive events.”
Mikaela adds: “I think it’ll be a great spot for makers to talk about themselves and their products and for people to put a face to the name. So, every month we’ll have events which underline the collaborative working idea and bring people together.”
Visit ‘fall in love with Barbados’ at the Limegrove Lifestyle Centre and keep checking the website where an online store will be launching shortly.