One of the advantages of our dual-nation island is the variety of shopping choices for groceries. The supermarkets on the French side feature European products and offer an amazing selection of gourmet items.
The Dutch side markets seem to favor American products, with only a modest selection of Dutch specialties.
The large and glamorous branded supermarkets are in stark contrast to small stores run by Chinese merchants. Yet these smaller stores serve an important purpose for local residents, with lower prices for many commodity items. The leading market catering to the local population is The Cakehouse, worth a visit, because the owner familily is very involved in promoting active lifestyles and healthy eating. That's why The Cakehouse has a large selection of organically grown food.
A critical note: recent years have seen prices for groceries increase to sometimes ridiculous levels, considering the fact that there is no import duty to be paid by distributors. The transport cost of goods by container can't explain the price tags on the shelves anymore and the pricing policies of some of the supermarkets need to be questioned. Recently, the large French supermarket chain Super-U has opened a store in Marigot. Top quality merchandise can be found for about a quarter of the prices charged on the Dutch side!
The inconsistency with pricing should not discourage visitors to enjoy their shopping. Especially cigarettes are a true bargain, as are most liquor items.
But be price conscious and complain if you feel that the store is charging outrages prices for certain products. You'll help the local population, who has a hard time making ends meet.