Do you often hear about colmados from the Dominican Republic but don’t know exactly what they are? Never heard the word before? Find out more below. Here you will find their specificities and origins.
What exactly is a colmado?
The colmado is a kind of neighbourhood grocery shop, which dates back to colonial times. It retains a certain link with the bartering practised previously by the Indian people. It is located in the corners of the street, in specific premises. It is also possible to find them on the ground floor of any building. During a stay in the Dominican Republic, a visit to a colmado is a must. This type of establishment is a popular place where you can buy all sorts of products necessary for daily life. Indeed, it offers a variety of goods for sale. First of all, there are food and drink items. If you are also looking for cleaning products during your stay in the country, you can find them at the colmados.
What are the specificities of a colmado?
The special features of a colmado lie mainly in the way it is laid out. It has a counter of considerable length on which the articles offered to customers are displayed, as well as specific accessories necessary for the sale, such as the scales. It is also possible to see fruit hanging on a wire. Chairs are also essential equipment in a colmado. Indeed, shopkeepers allow their customers to sit for a while in their establishment, to have a drink, to play dominoes, …. Some even broadcast sports matches so that customers can relax for a few minutes during the day.
Are colmados really typical of the Dominican Republic?
Many people think that colmados are a form of trade of Dominican origin. The first thing to know is that they are the result of a mixture of influences and interbreeding in the Caribbean. It is true that colmados are mostly seen in the Dominican Republic, but this does not mean that they are typical of the country. Indeed, it is also possible to find this kind of grocery in Haiti, the United States, Mexico, Colombia,… but they are not called colmados.
In conclusion, colmados are neighbourhood grocery shops that offer a wide variety of useful products for everyday life.