Ready to feed the Cup Match crowds
For Debbie Symons, being a Cup Match vendor tomorrow will be about a lot more than selling food.
Emotions are always strong for Ms Symons whenever the midsummer classic comes around, as the occasion is ripe with memories of her late father, Bill Bailey.
As the owner of Debbie’s Snacks, she will be one of many vendors setting up her stall at Somerset Cricket Club and preparing for a busy day, but her inspriational father will never be far from her thoughts.
“Every Cup Match on the first day I shed a little tear wishing my dad was here, because I know he would always fix something that didn’t look right,” Ms Symons said.
“The stall is just basic plywood, nothing too fancy, with a few of my favourite colours, red and yellow. The sign in my stall says, ‘Created by Bill Bailey’, as he is the reason.
“My dad was my world. He toughened me up to be a strong individual and to believe in myself.”
Ms Symons said she had been working at Cup Match for more than 20 years.
“My father is the one that inspired me as he used to have a shop when I was just a baby and even before I was born,” she said.
“He was skilled and one of the best carpenters, a cook and one of the best taxi drivers. Dad had always built my stalls and trained my husband Larry Symons. When dad passed on my husband took over, with the help of my sons.”
Among the items on the Debbie’s Snacks menu are the “Big Fat Juicy Beef Hotdogs”, regular or deep-fried, French fries, chicken wings, fresh fruit cups and snowballs.
She believes what makes her business successful is the commitment. “I present my stall with high cleanliness and respect. I do my stall out of love. I just love the atmosphere. Emancipation means a lot to me as the whole of Bermuda gets together wherever they choose to be and enjoys each other,” Ms Symons said.
“I have two special dishes — that’s my hot dogs and fresh fruit cups. My fruit is prepared at 5am to allow it to stay firm and fresh.”
Ashley Stephens, owner of Ashley’s Lemonade, said this will be her fifth year at cup match and believes she was chosen because of the various flavours and diversity in the sugar content that is provided.
“We offer cane sugar, sugar-free, stevia and agave,” she said. “The flavours we cater to are focused around customers’ needs and we will be able to give them a refreshing beverage on a hot Bermuda day.”
Ashley’s Lemonade has a special treat for Cup Match fans this year, with new fruits added, such as sour green apple and peach. “We’re also selling reusable souvenir cups,” she added.
There will also be an express lemonade service, featuring pre-made lemonade. “This will help the lines move faster — you just have to come to the cash register and the lemonade will be ready for you.”
Front Street restaurant Rosa’s Cantina will mark its second year as a vendor at Cup Match.
In 2015 Rosa’s was crowned the winner of the Bermuda Tourism Authority’s “Best Bermuda Fish Sandwich” competiton.
Along with the renowned sandwich, Rosa’s will be offering hamburgers, hot dogs, shrimp, fries and chicken tenders.
Kara Simmons, manager of Rosa’s, was grateful for public support. “Without the locals we would not be who we are,” she said. “The support they give is amazing.”
She added that Rosa’s will be accepting credit cards at the ground.
The Mako Grill will also be in attendance this year. Owner Jaelen Steede said: “Our company is BermyEats and the team includes myself, Treaz Place and Raeven White.”
This will be their second year as a vendor at Cup Match.
They will sell grilled and fried wahoo, shrimp, barbecue chicken, burgers, marinated vegetables, mac and cheese and fries.
Mr Steede believes that his business was chosen because of the unique menu, which as well as grilled and fried food, includes homemade gingerbread, yeast popcorn and pineapple sherbet shakes.
Duch Pops Bermuda, which Homemade offers Fresh Fruit Popsicles is going for their second year at cup match.
Rickeisha Burgess, owner of Duch Pops Bermuda, believes that her business was chosen for the big occasion because it offers the best frozen treat to cool down on a hot summer’s day.
“Our signature popsicle — mixed berries, pineapple, kiwi, peach and mango,” she said.
Onika Cross, owner of Cookies by Cross, said that this is her second year at Cup Match.
“I will have primarily cookies for sale,” Ms Cross said. “However my list of baked goods consists of majority Bermudian classics, such as pound, marble and wheat cakes, gingerbread and banana bread. I also make chocolate cake and carrot cake with icing and many more upon request.”
Cookies by Cross will also be supplying vegan gingerbread and banana bread, as well as gluten-free cookies and cakes. “For a refreshing beverage I will be selling a homemade chilled peppermint tea,” she added.
Cookies by Cross will be located on the Cricket Lane side of the ground near the Somerset Cricket Club canteen.
Other businesses that will take part this year are: Lina’s Fish Hut, Anchor Restaurant Bar and Lounge, Off The Hook Seafood & Grill, Sensational Delights, Secret Recipe, J&B’s Wood Fired Pizza, Country Kitchen, Willow Cuts, Sid’s Seafood, Jazzy Treats, Fluffy Stuff & KJ’s Snowball Stand, Kustom Kones, Cookies by Cross, OM Juicery, Burrows & Lightbourne, Fruit Stall and Duch Pops Bermuda.