Tag Archives: Businesses

Super 99 Revisited

A little over a year ago, Super 99 opened its new store across the InterAmerican Highway from Plaza Terronal.

As I look back on that post, I was not all that impressed. What a difference a year makes. Recently I have made several trips to the new Super 99.

There have been a couple things that Rey did that caused me to take another look at Super 99.

The first straw was when Rey removed several products, that I always purchased, to make room for their “Rey” branded products.

The second straw was the lack of ice cream choices in Rey. Not only choice limitation, but I have picked up more than one container that had been thawed and refrozen. Yuck.

So I decided to take a second look to see if my missing products happened to be in Super 99. Son of a gun. My latest walk-throughs have found a very nice store. The isles could be a hair wider, but there seems to be much more variety than in Rey.

If you like ice cream, Super 99 has more brands and favors than in any other store in David. Not only that, but they have Friendly’s Ice Cream. You may not know this brand, but when I lived in Virginia, one of my favorite outings was going to a Friendly’s Ice Cream store.

Three Hagen Daz pints will run you close to $18. One 1 1/2 quart container of Friendly’s will cost you around $5. To me, the Friendly’s is every bit as good. I have had “Banana Split”, “Maple Walnut”, “Vienna Mocha Chunk” and “Fruit Swirl”. My favorite is Maple Walnut.

The only complaint I have, and the thing that prevents me from shopping there more, is that I hate the aggravation of having to cross The InterAmerican Highway.

Who knows where I will be shopping in the future. RIBA Smith?

New Federal Mall and New Bus Terminal Complex

Okay. I have been sleeping at the wheel and only recently tuned into the new planned Federal Mall and new Bus Terminal complex that is breaking ground. I was aware that the new bus terminal was scheduled, but since I try not to use the bus, I ignored the when and where.


But now! Wow! Imagine a $180,000,000 development, which will house approximately 400 new stores and employ over 4,000 employees. For me the best part is that it is only 5 minutes from where I live.

Now I will be able to get a Cinnabon without having to go to Panama City. If I am really lucky, maybe there might be a Taco Bell in the food court. Please start that rumor!

And, because I live so close, I will be able to go at the optimum time of the day and avoid all the new traffic, which will stress the already crowded David infrastructure.

The plans do look impressive and it is supposed to be done in the next few years. I think the plans call for 2017, but I have never seen anything constructed on schedule, so I will expect the soonest will be in 2018 or after.

The worst thing about it will be the construction time. The construction of the highway to Boquete seemed to go on forever and during that time, traffic was rerouted and impacted.

People living adjacent to the construction will be subjected to huge trucks, noise and other annoyances.

However, after it is complete, it will be a hub that will attract people from all over the internal areas of Panama and even from Costa Rica. Who in his right mind will want to go to Panama City, when there is a high quality mall in David.

Maybe this will be the catalyst to actually bring in direct flights to the David airport. I still won’t hold my breath.

Most of the information promotion of the new mall is being done by real estate associated businesses. Expect to see prices go up. Expect to see false claims. They will tell you that you better buy your home in paradise now, before the prices go up.

The money sharks are already in the water.

Following are some artist representations of the new mall and a YouTube video.

We, who are in Chiriquí, are living in exciting times.


EP Furniture KUDOS

The other day I wrote that we need to recognize good service. Following that I received the following email.

Hi Don,
Reminder, you referred me to EP Furniture. The attached letter speaks for itself. Hope you can post it on CC, below is body you can copy/paste.

15 junio 2015

Lic. Alexis Ortega
ACODECO Director, Chiriquí Province
David, Panama

Lic. Ortega,

I am sure that nearly all of your work is handling consumer complaints. My issue is the opposite — I wish to register a vendor compliment.

Last October, I purchased a dining table and two chairs from EP Furniture in David. Then shipped them to my home in Isla Bocas.

In April, I observed that one chair was severely damaged, coming apart at wood joints.
This type damage could only be the result of a factory defect, not from use or shipping. Checking my receipt, I read that my 3-month Guarantee had ended months before.

This chair being part of a 3-piece set, I had to have a matching replacement. In May, I went to EP in David to plead my case in words and photos, hoping to at least get a replacement at cost.

Sra, Marisol Somoza De Mat, EP General Administrator in David, unhesitatingly offered that she would happily replace the chair. For free! A few days ago, we exchanged chairs; my replacement chair is in perfect condition.

I am not a big, repeat customer of EP. This small purchase was my first. The only incentive Sra. Marisol’s had to serve me, long after any contract obligation, was her willingness to do the right thing. Such outstanding character notes recognition.

Sra. Marisol and EP have earned my personal appreciation and continuing loyalty. I hope my experience encourages you also to patronize EP.

Larry Shane

Panama Service Observations

When you get good service, you need to reward it. I seem to run into poor service more often than good service.

The event that brought on this current observation is poor communications from Multiservicios International De Chiriquí, my “getting ready to be” ex mail forwarding provider.

I received an email from my credit card company stating that they had sent out a new card and I had not activated it. I started checking my address change and noticed something.

Last November I posted this photo which was taped to a box in the office.
in this post.

Later Multiservicios International De Chiriquí (MIDC) sent out this email, which I posted in this post.

Dear Valued Customer:
As part of the move to our new facility the USPS has assigned PakYA a unique firm number that will help sort and process your shipments to us. This zip+4 is also used by all courier companies to sort packages. It is very important that going forward you use the zip+4 format when addressing your shipments.
Effective immediately our zip+4 code is: 33166-9155
Please note that we will move to our new location on February 1st 2015. Shipments scheduled for delivery as of this date should be address as follows:
[Your Account Name/Company Name]
7950 NW 77 ST, C4
[Your Account #]
Medley, FL 33166-9155

As you can see, they are close, but different. Continue reading Panama Service Observations

Los Tejidos in David

IMG_0552One of Lilliam’s many hobbies is sewing. Yesterday she wanted to go downtown to buy some fabric at Los Tejidos, which is across from Parque Cervantes. Click HERE for a Google Map. Obviously the location shown on the map didn’t come out completely correct, because the store is not in the Park, but directly across the street on the opposite end of the block from Romero’s.

IMG_0551Anytime Lilliam wants fabric, needles, thread or other sillier, it seems this is where we wind up.

She was commenting how much cheaper the fabric was here than the fabric she bought when we were in Austin last year.

I never pass up an opportunity to take a photo of a beautiful young lady. Yesterday the opportunity arose when the cashier modeled with two parakeets that I had seen caged in the store.


If you happen to stop in Los Tejidos, tell them you learned about them from Chiriquí Chatter.

There are a lot of bargains to be found in downtown David. It may be a little difficult to find a place to park, but it can be a lot of fun once you are parked.

Su Carne

I have heard for some time about Su Carne, which is a meat market in David.

Su CarneTuesday I decided to see if I could find it. It is run by Jorge Martinez.

I had met Jorge, when I had gone to see Robert Watson for my back injury.  We both commiserated about Robert’s untimely death and what a great loss it was.

Su Carne is easy to find if you know where it is. However, in David, with typical directions, you may never find it. Natalie and I would not have found it if if we had not called while driving there.

HERE is a Google Map.

Su Carne

Su CarneSu Carne

I didn’t buy anything on this visit, but I did see the meat being processed. He was filling a large order of hamburger patties to be delivered to one of the local restaurants. He carries two types of ground meat. 80-20 for hamburgers and 90-10 when you want less fat.

They carry beef and pork ribs. You can order them without the membrane. I saw a very nice prime rib that had been aged for 14 days.

Now that I know where it is, I will be giving it a try. With all of the recommendations I have had, it has to be good.

Here is the contact information for Jorge Martinez. Contact him if you have a special order to fill and tell him you heard of Su Carne on Chiriquí Chatter.

Jorge A. Martinez
Work # – 507 7742495
Cell # – 507 65214286
Cell # – 507 67816141
Email – yoyomartinez @ hotmail.com (Remove the spaces)

Multiservicios Díaz

Lawnmower Parts and Repair – Click to Enlarge

I have looked for a good lawnmower service shop several times. I had one, but got the feeling I was being over charged and asked at Rodelag where they would recommend. They directed me to Multiservicios Díaz, which is close to Rodelag.

I have used them now for two items and I like the people that run it. They are nice friendly people and my equipment came back running well. Here is a Google Map. Their number is on the photo. If you stop in, tell them that you learned about them on Chiriquí Chatter.

The Bookmark

I received a request to post the following. If you want to know the history of The Bookmark, you might like to read this post by it original owner.

The requested post follows:

Hello everyone,
My name is Michael Ellis, the owner of the bookstore “The Bookmark” located in Dolega. Many of you know me or at least the bookstore.

I wanted to inform everyone that The Bookmark is up for sale for $55,000 (BARGAIN). This does not include the property, only the books, furniture and of course having the honor of being the most famous bookstore in Panama.

Unfortunately, I also have a more pressing problem, I need to move the bookstore to a new location as my landlady has basically decided to move back into her house(IE my business) this upcoming month. I do have a year+ or so remaining on the lease, but, honestly it’s not worth the cost/effort/headache of going through a legal battle, which, in the end I would likely lose, being a foreigner in a foreign land (yes, that’s cynical but true).

And so, if you’re not interested in buying the business, please at least spread the word that I’m on the look-out for a rental, unfurnished, with a sq footage of approximately 500 sq meters (20X20). It wouldn’t have to be fancy, as long as I can fit around 45,000 books and shelving.

I can’t stress enough the element of time.

With that said, thanks for your help.


Michael Ellis; Contact Information: Ellis_m_1@yahoo.com   776-1688   6468-9547

The Bookmark, Dolega.

Importadora Americana

I have been to a couple outlets in David that sell Ropa Americana, but last week I went to a new one that is well laid out and has a lot of products that were well priced. I walked out with two pair of shoes.

Besides clothes I saw a lot of pillows and bedspreads.

Importadora Americana is located to the left of Revilla on the street that runs in front of Super Baru and past Romero’s and Rodelag.

Click to enlarge
Click to enlarge.