Quentin and Wyona McKay researched several international locations before deciding to pull up stakes in their home of Edmonton, Alberta, and move to Roatan, Honduras. Now, they own a condo and coffee shop in Roatan, and they spend their time enjoying the white-sand beaches and clear waters of Roatan. The McKays had no prior experience with running a coffee shop before buying the Cool Beans Coffee House, but now business is booming and they are expanding their offerings to include a food menu. The two acknowledge the decision was scary and that it has taken a lot of hard work, but a supportive expat community and favorable living and working conditions have made the transition worth it. For more on this continue reading the following article from International Living.
Quentin and Wyona McKay wanted to move to paradise. They wanted to exchange their hectic life for a simpler, more fulfilling one…to own their own business in an exotic tropical location and work for themselves doing something they enjoy.
“We had enough of painful winters in Edmonton, Alberta,” says Wyona. “It has been a dream of ours for the past 15-plus years. So three years ago we put ourselves on a five-year plan where any vacation was a research trip to a destination that had possible investment opportunities for us. We visited Punta Cana, on the Mayan Riviera in Mexico, and were in the middle of planning a trip to Puerto Viejo, Costa Rica, when we were drawn to Roatan, Honduras.”
From the air, flying in, they saw a beautiful reef, azure blue water, and white-sand beaches lined with palms. Verdant forested hills form a spine the length of the island. On the ground, they found friendly locals, a large population of U.S. and Canadian expats, and they quickly realized there was plenty of room for opportunity and growth.
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“When we first visited, it felt like an untouched gem,” says Wyona. “On our second visit to investigate specific businesses, we stepped out onto West Bay Road, and my husband said, ‘feels like we’re home!’”
When the Cool Beans Coffee House became available, they knew they had a perfect match. They purchased the condo store-front and business in West Bay Plaza in April. And, with a turn-key operation and the magical ingredient—customers—they sold everything at home and moved to Roatan.
Neither had any previous coffee shop experience, but both have worked in the service industry and understood what constitutes good service. Wynona admits the decision was scary. It meant stepping out of their comfort zone and trying something new. But now they are happier than they have ever been.
“We start our day with a walk on the beautiful West Bay beach and a swim in the ocean, then we head back to the coffee shop for breakfast in our swimsuits. That’s not something that would be acceptable back in North America!” says Wyona.
“If supplies are needed that day, we head to the town of Coxen Hole or French Harbour. Errand days are fun and always an adventure. Most days we return to the coffee shop to relieve our coffee barista at 1.00 p.m. then we are hands-on until closing. We love the laid back atmosphere and social aspect of meeting customers from various parts of the world.
Business is great and the couple is adding homemade breads and pastries to the menu as soon as their new oven is installed. Wyona says, “It has been hard work, but has paid off in new friends, a good business, and a great lifestyle.”
This article was republished with permission from International Living.