Mamoun Bayatnah, known to all as Ali, and his wife Mercedes Zapata, called Maria by many, own and operate the popular Calabash Market in Coral Bay.
CALABASH BOOM — The V.I. Police Department report listed the crime as a Coral Bay burglary but residents of Calabash Boom and southeastern St. John neighborhoods took the brazen early morning burglary of their neighborhood grocers on Friday, April 24, personal.
After thieves stole the Calabash Boom Market cash register and cash machine in a bold early morning break-in at the neighborhood store on the shore of Johnson Bay, owners Mamoun “Ali” Bayatnah and Mercedes “Maria” Zapata stoically moved on, with Maria tending the cash register while Ali drove to St. Thomas to pick up supplies to repair the damage to the store’s front door which offer a picture-postcard view of Johnson Bay and East End.
Customers meanwhile were stopping by throughout the day with words of condolence and concern — and to offer to pitch in to help secure the store for the young storeowners, who have been strongly supported by residents of the isolated southeast end of St. John from Pen Point to Lameshur.