How many times have you found yourself in one of the following situations? You return home from your vacation and realize that you forgot to pick-up a specific souvenir for a certain someone. Perhaps you remembered the souvenir, but enjoyed it so much after you got home that you wish you had purchased more. Or worse, you left without buying the souvenir at all because you didn’t need it, only to find yourself regretting the decision the moment you boarded the plane. Of course, being from another country, the souvenir is impossible for you to find at home, and you are tempted to plan a return trip just to get your hands on that item you can’t stop thinking about.
Sound about right? Visit Costa Rican Store – your one-stop online shop for anything and everything “Costa Rica” (including many of the recommendations made in our related blog post: What To Buy In Costa Rica: Our Costa Rica Souvenir Shopping List & Buying Tips). The website offers sweet treats, sauces (buy your Lizano here!), beauty products, apparel, books and more, including funky original pieces such as handmade jewellery and specialty handbags from “hip n’ verde” (run by a young local artist). Perhaps the greatest variety of products is visible in their coffee selections, and as an added bonus, purchasers can opt to be part of a coffee club where they can receive coffee (ground or whole bean) monthly, bi-monthly, or quarterly.
This site is the perfect resource for those who wish to bring a bit of Costa Rica to their doorstep. The owner, Chantal, is kind as can be. She might also be a twin of mine that I never knew I had, since her foreign roots, pride in Costa Rica, knowledge of Costa Rican entrepreneurship, and love for a tico (her Costa Rican husband) are four things I know all too well. In order to get to know her and her business – Costa Rican Store – better, I asked Chantal if she would answer a few short questions for us.
Given all of the business opportunities in the world, why choose to sell Costa Rican products?
Costa Rican Store (Chantal): I started the Costa Rican Store in 2002 after falling in love with Costa Rica and marrying a Tico. (Tico is what you call men from Costa Rica; women are called Ticas.) My early love of Costa Rica grew the more I learned about the place, its people, and its food.
What is it about Costa Rican Store that you feel differentiates your business from similar companies?
Costa Rican Store (Chantal): The Costa Rican Store lets me share a little of Costa Rica with you. Living in Costa Rica allows me to get inventory out of the country faster. If anyone knows Costa Rica, its island nature is both a blessing and a curse. It is very laid back, which we all love, except when trying to run a business. So I work hard to ensure that everything comes to you quickly directly from Costa Rica. I am here to build relationships with my customers because I want you to come back and continue to get your little bit of Costa Rican from me. Other similar companies are here to just make the sale. I have heard from customers that they have ordered from competitors and could never get a live person to talk to. Not with Costa Rican Store. We love talking to our customers.
What is it about Costa Rica that you feel differentiates the country from everywhere else?
Costa Rican Store (Chantal): My early love of Costa Rica grew the more I learned about the place, its people, and its food. The people are wonderful, welcoming friends, neighbors, and guests into their homes and offering delicious cups of coffee. Children are treasured because of the centrality of family. The food is amazingly fresh. And the sauces are deeply flavorful because the soil is so rich. With the combination of people, food, and beaches, you feel younger and more energetic in Costa Rica.
What does “pura vida” mean to you?
Costa Rican Store (Chantal): Costa Rica “Pura Vida!” means alot to me. It gave me a chance to re evaluate my life and really think what I wanted to do. Thus started Costa Rican Store.
For more information about Costa Rican Store, you can contact chantal directly through her website www.costaricanstore.com where you can also shop for and purchase items online, in addition to finding some great recipes. As an added bonus for those who work with Pura Vida! eh? Incorporated when planning their Costa Rican vacation, clients receive 10% off items purchased through Costa Rican Store, as well as a free gift with each purchase.
QUESTION TO COMMENT ON: Been to Costa Rica? What souvenir would you recommend no traveller go home without?