US Navy ship bringing business to Kingston waterfront

October 31, 2019
Customers wait to be served in Island Coffee Cafe.
Customers wait to be served in Island Coffee Cafe.
Suzette Bennett
Suzette Bennett
Mitoya Hastings
Mitoya Hastings

Businesses located on the Kingston waterfront on Ocean B oulevard have seen an uptick, since the docking of the US Navy Hospital Ship USNS Comfort in the harbour.

Mitoya Hastings, manager of Island Coffee Cafe on the Victoria Pier, told THE STAR that since the ship docked, not only have more people been visiting the establishment, they have seen wider diversity in clientele.

"Since last weekend to today, we have all sorts of customers. We have been seeing mostly soldiers, and we have regulars ... we know them by name, they come every day and get their coffee and pizza and stuff," she said.

Hastings said that on a regular day, most of the clients are persons who work on the waterfront. She said that they also tend to get groups of children doing tours.

helps with staff morale

"Recently, it's been a bit quiet, because you know September, October time kinda slow. But since the ship has docked, it has been quite busy actually. In terms of business, it has been great for us," she said. "If there could be a ship that docked here every week, it would be amazing. It even helps with staff morale and productivity ... everybody is so excited. It's really, really good. So I hope in the future, we have some more of these. I'm excited."

Suzette Bennett, who works at a restaurant at Ocean 7, also says business has been good.

"Since the boat has been down by the waterfront, we have been getting a lot of customers, especially from the soldiers on it. They are coming to purchase breakfast and lunch, so we getting a lot of customers. Plus, persons are coming down here maybe to know what's going on with the ship and so forth and they are also stopping and buying," she said.

Lunch ran out before 2 pm. yesterday, leaving hungry customers disgruntled.

Bennett says: "I don't know what other persons think about it, but customer wise, we getting a lot of customers ever since. We are seeing more crowd."

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