It’s always fun to find a new hip and trendy spot on Aruba. Take for instance BAZ-RRR Galleria & Brasserie, located right in the center of Oranjestad. Their walls decorated with fascinating local art, they serve wonderful organic wines and vegan lunch-bites and even offer a space on the first floor for meetings and art-workshops.
But perhaps most inspiring is Joase-Ann, the woman responsible for BAZ-RRR. We spoke to her about the origins and future of this local hotspot. This is her inspirational story, full of refreshing energy and enthusiasm.
What sets BAZ-RRR apart from other similar places in Aruba? What would you consider to be “typically BAZ-RRR”?
“What sets us apart is that, despite being a ‘profitable business’, our goal as a company is to be socially engaged. We’re explicitly focussed on social entrepreneurship. This allows us to set up great projects for both people of all ages.
Our gallery provides added value for visitors that are interested in art and our lunchroom serves a delicious fusion of raw plant-based, vegan recipes and good old fashioned comfort foods.
The combination of these factors is what sets us apart as a business in Aruba.”
What motivates you and how did you get the idea for this concept?
“I’ve always enjoyed art, culture and history, but the idea for BAZ-RRR has its roots in my time as director of the Museo Historico. I knew there wasn’t a lot of space for the museum to be able to sell art.
Something that many artist friends of mine were in need of; a place to show and sell their own art. This is what we offer local artists.
As a social worker myself, I find it important to combine my business with the Sustainable Development Goals of the UN and to incorporate this into BAZ-RRR (Reduce—Re-use—Recycle) in offering a space where community and creativity meet.”
How have you been able to launch this concept in Oranjestad?
“Well, that hasn’t been easy. My business partner and I spent a long time trying to find a suitable location in the center of Oranjestad. The rent for the spaces we looked at were so expensive that we could not afford to open up shop there.
Luckily we found out about Margarita Plaza, where we are currently located. The owner believed in us and our concepts and ideas, recognising the added value of an art-cultural multifunctional space like BAZ-RRR in Oranjestad as a new and attractive hotspot for locals and tourists alike.”
4. How have visitors (tourists and locals alike) reacted so far?
“Very positively! Everyone feels a positive vibe when they come in and feels at home at BAZ-RRR. Which is exactly what we were hoping to achieve!
Everyone is welcome and we want to motivate and inspire people to support art and culture on Aruba. By visiting us, the first steps have already been taken.
What are your dreams for the (near) future for BAZ-RRR?
“That we will need more units/spaces and to become an officially recognised GALLERIA ARUBA”
Joase-Ann spent several years in the Netherlands studying, living and working in places like Groningen and Amsterdam. You could say she brought a little bit of ‘Amsterdam’ with her back to Aruba.
Hopefully many Arubans and tourists, interested in ‘something different’, will find their way to BAZ-RRR. We’re already convinced that this is a great new HOTSPOT! Highly recommended!