Mama Tilly

“You’re in the top 10% of restaurants worldwide!” This is the message that Mama Tilly, the popular owner and manager of Mama Tilly's Barbeque and Grill in Laborie, received from the travel website TripAdvisor a few days ago. “Each year”, TripAdvisor wrote, “we comb through reviews, ratings, and saves from Travellers everywhere, and use that info to award the very best. You are part of an exclusive group, and we want to help you celebrate this major accomplishment”.

Indeed, this is a major achievement, notes Augustine Dominique, President of the Laborie Development Foundation. “Over the past twenty years”, says Dominique, “the Laborie community has quietly but steadfastly worked to develop a vibrant village tourism sector. It is thanks to the creative and hardworking owners of our local restaurants, guest houses and tour operations that we have been able to turn Laborie into a favourite destination for nationals and foreign visitors alike”.


“One of the strengths of our tourism initiative”, says Lucius Ellevic, General Manager of the Laborie Cooperative Credit Union, “is that all the businesses are owned and operated by people who reside in the community, and most of the economic impact is felt by people in the village. The restaurants and guesthouses benefit”, says Ellevic, “but also the fishers, the farmers and the vendors at the market on Saturday morning, the young entrepreneurs who offer land and boat tours, and the bus and taxi drivers. Tourism has become a part of our village life, without disrupting it”.

Mama Tilly clearly deserves this award, and the reviews her business receives online testify to that fact. “Mama Tilly’s is a must if you’re traveling to Laborie, the food is awesome and she’s so much fun! If you’re looking for a local feel it’s a place you shouldn’t miss!” wrote a visitor from the UK, while a group from the US on a mission trip to work with local churches commented: “Fell in love with the food and Mama Tilly!!! She was so kind and giving. Her food was the best I have ever eaten”. Or, in the words of a Saint Lucian patron: “Genuine, simple, down-to-earth, home-cooked food … Always good, always welcoming. If you like local, then Mama Tilly's is the place to be. Laborie at its best. The best of Saint Lucia.”

Mama Tilly herself, hardworking and dedicated to her children, is always ready to please her customers, from the kids dropping by for a bake to the foreigners looking for local cuisine and fresh seafood. When told of her TripAdvisor distinction, she had only two words: “Thank you”. Because she enjoys what she does and puts her heart into it. Seeing customers leave with smiles on their faces after a meal they’ve enjoyed is, for her, the biggest recompense of all. “I do my best. And if they are happy, then I’m happy too”, she says.

For more information on where to stay, where to eat and what to enjoy in Laborie, visit the Community's website,