Mata Grande’s Store Reopens as The Winey Gringa

In 2008, a small store opened up 4.5 miles north on Ambergris Caye called Mata Grande Store.  At the time, there was no real road this far north on the island – and those staying at resorts and homes generally traveled to town by boat for all shopping.  So a store – offering cold drinks and snacks – was very welcome on the north side of the island.  (Here are some great pictures of the original spot and the original owners)

The shop was the hub of the Mata Grande area.  A spot for locals and visitors to stop for the basics.

After many years, the shop changed owners, and then moved locations (from east side of the large property to the west side – to face the new road) and then closed during the pandemic.

Here’s a pic in 2015 when it was still on the sandy road closer to the beach.

2015 Mata Grande Store

But now the store has re-opened with a new owner – the lovely Christie.  Aka The Winey Gringa.  And it looks sooo great.  I wasn’t even planning to leave the house yesterday but then I saw their pictures on Facebook.  SO I grabbed my camera and went down to check it out.  Take a look.

BUT FIRST!  The term Mata Grande refers to this neighborhood (I’ve called it the “Jade Coast” before) – and the lagoon system in this area (the road to Secret Beach passes over the Mata Grande Lagoon).  Mata Grande means “Large Bush” – and Mata Chica (the name of a gorgeous resort in the area) means “Small Bush”.  I’m assuming these bushes are long gone but the names remain.

You can see the Mata Grande Lagoon in this old-style map.

From South to North, there is the Boca Ciega Lagoon, the San Pedro Lagoon, Mata Grande Lagoon, Cayo Frances Lagoon, Santa Cruz Lagoon and then Cantina Lagoon.

And now to my pictures.  Winey Gringa will be open 7 days a week from 7am to 7pm.  They are offering all sorts of goodies and the basics.

Just next door is a very cute restaurant and bar space…that has been leased out and should be opening soon.  I wanted to show you because it looks so great.

And this mural!

Okay…let’s go inside.

And this display in the middle!  Wines on ice…

And this working bell.

You guys might know my obsession with sea beans…these painted ones!  I want them all.

I’ve collected huge cans and jars filled with them.  Here are Seabeans and Other Things You Can Find on the Beaches of Ambergris Caye

I love the painted floors.  So chic.

Coffees and lattes, muffins and breads…and meat pies.

Slices of CHEESECAKE…this is dangerous on my way home.

Don’t feel like cooking dinner?  Bring a blanket out to the dock and have a picnic – or unfurl that blanket on the couch and enjoy with some Netflix.

Stop in!  And meet the owner Christie – the Winey Gringa.  I just did…she is lovely.  And so is the shop.

Christie Mata Grande Store

Also, if you are on the way to or from Secret Beach – stop at The Winey Gringa. It’s just around the corner.   When you get to the “Secret Beach Junction” (below) just turn right instead of left…this shop is just 2 minutes away.  Grab some sparkling wine and ice cream…I am quite certain it makes everything better.

You can check out their Facebook page and their new website for details.

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