“They desire what I had as a boy growing up. The eight acres of wild farmland, the rawness of the river, nature hikes and most of all they want to eat from the land like I do and enjoy the fresh catch of the day from Gouyave” – Mr. Bridgeman
Me and Mr Bridgeman sit on seven acres of land, surrounded by several hundred cocoa trees and another 200 soursop trees as we celebrate the 7th of February 1974 (when Grenada became a sovereign nation, ending over 200 years of British Colonial rule). We converse over the antidotal sound of rushing river water and crackle of dried shells from Nutmeg, our islands primary agricultural export.
One People, One Country, Our responsibility is the theme of today’s 44th Anniversary of Independence. Mr Bridgeman, a tall, gentle man and the co-owner and operational manager of Fort Wolf, St. John gives me his undivided attention. Fort Wolf, St. John consists of three eco-cabins and Brother’s Bar and Grill Restaurant located on Brother’s Estate. He barely lets me get a question in, evidence of his willingness to share more about this enchanting hideaway. I manage to squeeze in a few.
Kiki: Why do you see it as your responsibility to share The Island Experience?
Mr Bridgeman: We do this because, believe it or not, there are people out there who want the rustic Grenadian experience. They come from Russia, England, Canada, Germany, Poland and as far as Australia. They desire what I had as a boy growing up. The eight acres of wild farmland, the rawness of the river, nature hikes and most of all they want to eat from the land like I do and enjoy the fresh catch of the day from Gouyave.
Kiki: The Eco Cabins are very simple, like authentic Grenadian board homes. They want that too?
Mr Bridgeman: The only luxury is hot running water and clean sheets and of course the lush surrounding land. You’ll be surprised; they often extend their stay after a few days.
Kiki: The river is heavenly, how did you find this place?
Mr Bridgeman: My business partner Marvin Wolf and his wife purchased the land some years ago. We met when I was running my construction company, and now we consider ourselves brothers. It’s just a coincidence that the land is called Brother’s Estate. He said to me one day, let’s do something with this area, so I spent two days in this very spot and by the side of the road, observing as the tour buses passed and this is what I came up with. Eco cabins, a restaurant and bar serving up authentic Grenadian dishes, an easy pathway down to the river and the opportunity to hike through the interior of the island.
Kiki: Is hospitality your forte?
Mr Bridgeman: Not really, I was born and schooled in Carriacou. I was a boat builder, electrician and then I worked in construction. I never had any dreams or plans like this. When I was growing up, I never wanted to be anything in particular because I thought I wasn’t cut out to be anything. I didn’t feel like I could become this big doctor or lawyer because I wasn’t strong academically. But what I did know was that I was very good with my hands. That’s why I pushed to start my own business as a contractor in construction. It paid off, and that is where I made most of my savings, which gave me the ability to invest in Fort Wolf.
Kiki: I love the rustic look and use of natural resources!
Mr Bridgeman: I did all the construction for this site. It’s been a little over two years since we opened and it has been challenging as it’s out of the way, but people from practically all over the world come here because of how it looks. They love to listen to the river; they like the local produce, it’s peaceful and safe, and for that reason, I plan to use more natural resources to develop it some more. I’m thinking of putting a massage room by the river.
Kiki: Now Mr Bridgeman if you do that I’ll come up here and never leave!
Mr Bridgeman: I’d like that, I just want to make people happy. I’m always here, just call to make a reservation and I’ll make the arrangements. We can cater for up to 200 people. We can do weddings, birthday parties and reunions. We’ve even hosted hashes and a retirement party. We open from 11:00 am to 8:00 pm on Friday, Saturday and Sunday, but I do recommend you call ahead of time to make a reservation on +1 (473) 418- 5524 or +1 (473) 534 – 1431. You can book our Eco Cabins on Airbnb or Facebook. We are in the Clozier area on the road to Rose Mount with visible signposts from the town of Gouyave. We look forward to welcoming you soon.