A Vineyard Haven store that caters to the Island Brazilian community is getting a makeover.
Mara Santos, a West Tisbury resident, is the new manager of Island Star, a convenience store located at 25 Beach Road in Vineyard Haven.
“I hope to have everything ready for a grand opening on May 26,” she said. “I want to earn the trust of new customers.”
Mrs. Santos has lived on the Vineyard since 1999. She has worked as a caregiver, raised a daughter and ran a cleaning business.
Ludmilla Alves has been working as a cashier at Island Star for three years. She said she is happy the about the recent changes.
“I used to open [the store] at nine and close at five,” said Ms. Alves. “Working people didn’t have time.”
In the morning, Island Star sells coffee and breakfast cake. They also sell cardboard boxes and offer moving services.
The store has a Brazilian flag in its window. Parking is available next door. Mrs. Santos hopes to have new window dressing by Memorial Day Weekend. The interior has two aisles with ethnic foods and dry goods, two freezers, one with drinks and another with frozen meat, and a back room office. Ms. Alves said she is excited about the new product selection.
Mrs. Santos is conducting money transfers using BB Remessa, a subsidiary of Banco do Brazil. So far there are no complaints.
On Thursday Carlos Costa visited Island Star to send money to his wife in Brazil.
“The service is great,” he said.