Help with Shrimp Sizes

The difference between large and jumbo shrimp depends entirely on where you buy them. The terms describing the size of shrimp like “small”, “medium”, “large” and “jumbo” are not regulated, and can vary. Especially when buying shrimp on the side of the road in Trinidad. The way to truly know the size of shrimp you are buying is by the number–called “count”–with which they are labeled.

shrimp sizes

The count gives you the number of shrimp you can expect to get in one pound. The fewer shrimp per pound, the larger and more expensive they are. If you only have 10 or 15 shrimp that make up a pound, those shrimp will need to be larger. Fewer shrimp in the pound, but they are larger.

Some of the standard sizes you’ll find are:

61-70, 51-60 Really small shrimp, often used for shrimp salad. Often labeled Tiny, Extra Small and Small. We sell these at shrimp pieces and they can be viewed here.

41-50 –  Labeled medium or medium large. I’d use these in pasta or mixed seafood dishes. Our 41/50 shrimp is commonly used by Roti Shops to make their Shrimp Curry. The size is bite sized and larger shrimp are not necessary. You can purchase these shrimp de-veined and cleaned by clicking here.

31-40 These are readily available, often labeled large, and my go-to size when budget is a consideration. Click here for more info.

21-25, 16-20 Often labeled jumbo, these are a great choice when shrimp, prepared with few other ingredients, are the main course. When serving grilled shrimp or simple sautéed shrimp for dinner, each diner might get 4-6 of these. This is our most commonly sold sized of Shrimp here at Blooms. You can purchase these by clicking here for 16/20 and here for 21/25.

10-15, usually 10 These are a treat; an indulgence as expensive as they are impressive looking. They may be referred to as colossal. You can purchase these shrimp here.

Now delivering to Chagaramas

We have quite a few customers that are visiting Trinidad via their sailboat, yacht or commercial vessel. Some are chefs for large merchant ships and others are just cruisers sailing through Trinidad. While we may not carry all of your supplies needed for the voyage out, we can certainly help you in the meat department. Most of our meats are USDA certified and individually packaged in small serving sizes, which are usually very important of cruisers and chefs.

Take your time and browse our selection online, place order order and we will deliver the products to the marina you are docked at. We can accept US dollars, TT dollars and credit cards.

The good news is that if you are one of these customers, we can now delivery directly to your boat (assuming you are docked!) No need to order online and book transport from your marina to Diego Martin. As long as your order surpasses our minimum outlined in the delivery information section, we will be happy to deliver it to your boat.

DSCN3321

 

If you need ship chandler services for larger vessels, please contact us at sales@bloomsimports.com, as we can forward you onto a company here in Trinidad that can help.

 

South, we are bringing hams to you this weekend!

Attention Sando and South customers!


You asked and we have listened. Blooms will be doing the first ever “Online Order Meat-up”, this Saturday, November 29th. The plan is to take online orders this week and drive down to San Fernando where you can pick them up. If you place your ham order via our website by Friday, November 28th, you can collect and pay for your ham in San Fernando the following day. Hopefully this will help save the drive to Diego Martin for many of our customers in South.

Our friends at Dream Lounge have been kind enough to offer us their stunning facility to set-up and hand out ham orders.

Dream Lounge Pick-up Picture

For those of you that haven’t been yet, Dream Lounge is an elegant restaurant that serves a wide-variety of great food.

They serve many Bloom’s products and Chef Allan knows what he’s doing when it comes to cooking them.

They are open from 8am for breakfast, Monday through Saturday, so get a Christmas ham and some killer breakfast in one shot. Or come a little later in the day and grab a beer on the patio.

 

 

Dream Lounge is located on Gulf View Link Road, between Gulf View Mall and San Fernando NAPA, in the same complex as Better Value and the Gulf View Industrial Estate.

 

Dream Lounge 

We will be in San Fernando from 10am until around 2pm and we will have freezers plugged in to keep your hams as cold as if you purchased them directly from Diego Martin. You can pay with Linx, Credit or Cash when you collect, not when you order. Please remember that you need to order your ham first, to take advantage of this free service.

So, a few things to do:

1. Place your ham order to reserve your ham and spot in the van.. For more info on our hams, check here.

ORDER A HAM

2. Please spread the word to any friends/family you have in South. If this works, we are hoping this can evolve into a monthly or weekly run to help save a trip or two for South customers, which would be awesome!

3. Give Dream Lounge a call to book your holiday function or make a reservation for dinner. We are very thankful for helping us with the great spot. Here’s more info on booking Dream Lounge.

Hams have arrived!

It’s that time of year again! Christmas time! And that means hams (amongst other things of course).

Every year for the past 5 years, Blooms has brought in our traditional Spiral Ham. These hams have become a tradition for many households in Trinidad and it makes us very proud to say that. Keeping with tradition, we will be bringing in the same ham years past.

carando spiral

We did decide to change up “tradition” a slight bit, however. Normally, we ask that all of our customers pre-order their ham by emailing or calling. In the past, this helped us determine who wanted hams and how many they wanted. When the hams arrived, we would email our customers to let them know their hams have arrived. If you did not pre-order, we probably didn’t have a ham for you. 🙁

This system worked GREAT, until last year. We vastly underestimated the response we would get on the hams last year. We then realized that most people didn’t know about the pre-order and/or didn’t bother. When it came to collect, some people wanted more than they ordered and some wanted less. Our large fear every year is not having a ham for someone that ordered one. If we promise someone a ham, we have to make sure they receive one, even if that means turning away customers who wanted but never had the opportunity to pre-order. Needless to say, it was a lot of stress.

This year, we are simplifying things and just letting our customers know when the hams have arrived, instead of only selling hams to those that ordered. We hope that this will allow customers that want hams to avoid having to pre-order, wait and then collect. Instead, we will email the customers on our mailing list to let them know that the hams have arrived. Everyone can come and choose their exact hams and take what is needed. Once we let our regular customers have a chance to collect, we will then offer to the general public. This should give everyone a chance to come at their leisure, select their hams and purchase as many hams as they like.

In case you have never had a Blooms ham, here are the details:

These hams are spiral hams, meaning they are pre-cut to provide easier carving. The slices are not all the way through the ham, so it does not fall apart until you are ready to carve it. There is a very small bone in the center, which you run your knife along, allowing the slices to fall onto the plate. These hams are hickory smoked, cooked and frozen, so they only need to be defrosted and heated to serve. You can ‘crisp up’ the outside of your ham by turning your oven to broil for the last few minutes. The hams are very easy to prepare, and it is not a day long event. Included with each ham is a honey glaze packet, which can be used to create a ‘honey baked ham’ taste.

Here’s more info from the supplier, Carando.

Each ham is wrapped in a red Christmas foil and netted, so they make for very nice gift.

Each ham will weigh between 8 and 10 pounds.

The price for the first round of hams is $29.00TT per pound. We will probably need to ship in more hams closer to Christmas, and they are usually more expensive. So the price is subject to change. The best bet is to get early!

Because each ham has a different weight, they will vary in price according to size. In the store, each ham will have it’s specific price listed.

Want to know when the hams are here? (estimated, middle of November 2014) Make sure you are receiving our newsletter.

Join the Newsletter

The Christmas and Holiday season is upon us, so let the Blooms team be the first to wish you a very Merry Christmas, Happy Holidays and a Happy New Year!

 

 

Wagyu is coming to Trinidad!

We get a lot of request for a Wagyu Beef. We recently found a reliable supplier, so it’s on it’s way!

WAGYU is a Japanese beef cattle breed – derive from native Asian cattle. ‘WAGYU’ refers to all Japanese beef cattle, where ‘Wa’ means Japanese and ‘gyu’ means cow.

wagyu

Wagyu were originally draft animals used in agriculture, and were selected for their physical endurance. This selection favored animals with more intra-muscular fat cells – ‘marbling’ – which provided a readily available energy source. Wagyu is a horned breed and the cattle are either black or red in color.

The Wagyu Beef we import into Trinidad is Akaushi. Akaushi (Japenese for “red cow”) is a Japenese Wagyu breed of cattle. The beef produced by Akaushi cattle is richly marbled with fat and produces a very tender, flavorful, and expensive variety of steak which is used in Kobe restaurants.

akaushi

Beef originally carrying the title of Kobe were simply cattle from herds in the Kobe area of Japan, and could be any of four breeds of Wagyu cattle: the Akaushi (Japanese Red), the Kuroushi (Japanese Black), the Japanese Polled and the Japanese Shothorn.

Currently, the largest purebred group of Wagyū outside Japan is a herd of Akaushi cattle located in Texas. In the 1990s a shipment of cattle was brought to the US to establish the program. Previously, the only way to purchase Wagyu was from farmers in Japan. The first group was raised from a Japanese imported herd of 11 which was guarded by off-duty  Texas Rangers to protect from interbreeding for over 12 years until the herd grew to over 5,000 cattle. No unauthorized brushin’!

The meat contains high concentrations of oleic acid, a heart-healthy fatty acid. Akaushi beef has a high ratio of monounsaturated to saturated fats.

Blooms is hoping to expand our range of Wagyu products. If you have suggestions on cuts you would like to see, please email us at: sales@bloomsimports.com

Pre-Order Your Cast Iron Now

Select Your Lodge CastIron Skillet. Pre-order Now Open

​Blooms will be bringing back the Lodge line of cast-iron cookware for this holiday season. Lodge produces an amazing line of heavy-duty cast-iron products that last a lifetime.

Instead of bringing in these items and hoping we pick the ones you will want (we underestimated demand last year) we are offering customers a pre-order special. This allows you to select your product and guarantee we will have it for you when the shipment come in. Once they arrive, we will call you to let you know it’ ready.

These make great gifts for the holidays and they will be in Trinidad well before Christmas. They are also must haves if you don’t have one already. Castiron pans can get extremely hot and make incredible pan-seared steaks and burgers.

Click this link to view the pre-order sheet: Blooms – Lodge Pre-order Sheet – 2014

We are closing down the Henry Street Branch and here’s why….

Dear Customers,

Unfortunately, we regret to inform you that we will be closing our downtown branch on Henry Street.

We opened this branch a few months ago with the hopes of it becoming an easy pick-up location for customers living and working downtown. However, we’ve now realized that most of our customers still prefer the selection and location of the Diego branch (in fact, almost all existing customers).

Due to the size of the downtown store our selection had to be very limited. We pride ourselves on carrying the products that customers ask for. With most regular customers still shopping in Diego, we were being asked daily by new customers to carry a lot of new items that they currently purchased at other stores downtown. It seemed as if  we needed a completely different set of products for just the downtown market.  Many of these items were ‘commodity’ type items that we did not/do not normally carry. In order to cater to this demand, it would mean selling products that we weren’t 100% comfortable putting under the Blooms name. Sure, it would mean higher sales, but it could jeopardize the trust that our loyal customers have in the Blooms brand. That trust is invaluable and that is a risk we weren’t willing to take. We have learned that sometimes the products you sell are not necessarily for everyone!

Managing and operating a separate store took a lot of our time and resources. Aside from the varying product selection, overall, we were just not happy with the development at the branch. It was not lining up to be something we were proud of and something that represented our company to the fullest. We don’t like to do things mediocre, and our management of this store was mediocre. This is why we have decided to shut down the branch.

We have a lot of great projects that have come up since opening the store downtown. Projects we are very excited about, but will take a lot of our attention. We feel that streamlining our operations will help make these new and existing aspects of Blooms work even better!

For example, freeing up the man-power and resources it took to run our downtown store means that we are able to expand our hours of operation at the Diego Martin branch. We are now open on Sundays from 8am to 1pm, and we are also working on opening later in the evenings for those shopping after work.

For those of you that were regular customers of the Henry Street branch, ‘THANKS!’. We apologize for the inconvenience and we hope that you will continue to shop with us. We’d also like to say ‘thank you’ to Edmund Hadeed for his help with this project at the Hadeed Centre Mall.

Thanks for everyone’s support, as always. We are excited about the future and appreciate our loyal customers sticking with us.

The Team at Blooms

We are looking for a new team member!

Now hiring to fill a full-time position at our Diego Martin Branch. Fun, respectful, hard-working environment with great growth opportunity.

now hiring

 

 

 

 

 

 

Position is entry level stocking/grocery/transport. Lifting required. Applicant must be able to do simple mathematical calculations. Ability to use a computer is a plus.

Full-time: Monday through Saturday

Must be 25 years of age

Interested in hiring for a long-term commitment to grow with the company.

Must have a valid TT driver’s license

Locations is the Diego Martin Main Road

Please email us at:

sales@bloomsimports.com

OR

call 764-7917

Not for you? No problem! Please take a minute to think of someone else who may be interested and pass along!

Why no turkeys for Canadian Thanksgiving???

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Every year we have customers ask us for Turkey for the Canadian Thanksgiving Holiday (Oct 14th, 2014). We never have them. Why is that?

Well, we don’t really like Canadians…..just kidding.

The real answer is because we import most of our products from the US. Unfortunately, turkey farmers in the US don’t really have their birds ready early enough for us to order them. For us to have our turkeys in stock for the beginning of November (in time for the US version of the Holiday), we often have to place an order in the beginning of October (pre-order here). They are processed and then shipped down to Trinidad. If we needed turkeys in the middle of October, we would need to book those turkeys at the end of August! We are very willing to do that, but the turkey farmers aren’t ready for us at that time. So, we are working on getting a Turkey supplier (possibly) out of The Great White North, that will have product ready for us to order for delivery in the beginning of October. Unfortunately, that won’t be until next year. 🙁

So, hopefully that helps explain why we never have our turkeys in time for the Canadian Thanksgiving.

Regardless of our issues, we hope all you Canadians have a very happy Thanksgiving!

Put your Credit Card Back….to Win-A-Rack!

When you use your credit card to pay for goods/services at small businesses, Masterard/Visa/etc charge a fee to the store for processing the payment. Being able to use a credit card is a convenience that most stores like to provide their customers, and that of course, that comes at a cost. Here at Blooms, we made the decision a while ago to offer this service to our customers. A lot of customers preferred not to have to walk with cash, and we agree.

Unfortunately, we quickly realized that with every swipe we were paying this nasty little processing fee. We also have noticed that for most people, the decision to pay with a Credit Card OR with Linx/Cash, isn’t really that big of a decision. Most people don’t mind either way and just grab what they see first in their purse/wallet. If only there was a  way to let people know that we preferred to Linx/Cash payments over credit card, and with the money saved, give them something back……..

So, we came up with an idea! A chance to reward customers that pay with Linx or Cash and help us spread the word.

Here’s the deal:

With your next purchase, if you spend over $300TT and pay with either your Linx Card or Cash, you will be entered to win a FREE rack of Blooms Smokin Saturdays Smoked Ribs. Simply write your name and email on the back of your receipt (or a piece of paper) and drop it in our WIN-A-RACK box. Every Saturday, we will draw a name and that person will receive a free rack of smoked ribs on the following Saturday.

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

 

Hopefully, this will help us pay less in credit card processing fees, give back to our customers and keep our prices the lowest in Trinidad.

Don’t want to take your chances? Pre-order your Smokin’ Saturday Racks here.