Copper and Stone -- Guanacaste's New Gourmet Market

06 March, 2019

Town has recently welcomed an exciting new member -- Copper & Stone, a Gourmet Market standing on the main road leading into town, right across from Plaza Central.

The building was designed by Jeff Dungan Architects, marking their first addition to town, and worked on internally by the interior architects with RSA Architecture Design Studio. It’s an important building architecturally because it is town’s first real Main Street Building. Mixed-use between Copper & Stone and Camino Flats, and featuring a gracious interior courtyard that allows you to pass through the building and enter town directly from Main Street, this new building has an energy that’s harmonious with town, but brings a bit more of a commercial character.


Jeff Dungan excels in innovative traditional architecture, keeping his projects firmly rooted in classical styles, yet allowing his ideas to adapt and explore new concepts. For this building, Jeff responded to town’s walkability and maintained a pedestrian connection through the building, from Main Street into the heart of town, weaving the building’s texture into town despite the fact that the structure is rather large by Las Catalinas standards.

Another example of responding to the context was the choice to place a covered terrace overlooking Plaza Carlota. The area gets a great breeze, and is a good perch for people watching, getting work done, or simply relaxing while eating a sandwich from the deli.

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The colors of the mosaic tile and windows are lively and fun, yet still elegant in their contrast to the light gray facade. The most notable element of the building is the stair tower, the arch of which is visible throughout Beach Town -- the influences of which trace their roots to Barcelona and its Ciutat Vella (Gothic Quarter), and the architecture of Antoni Gaudí. Desiring a similar vibrance and stability in the new building, the stair tower was designed with a pointed arched concrete roof and large windows, which draws the eye and strikes an immediate impact on the Las Catalinas skyline.

On the inside, Copper & Stone contains four main areas: The Market, The Morning, The Deli, and The Cava, each with their character.

Arriving through the door, the first thing you notice is the counter of The Deli, which offers artisan sandwiches and salads, as well as small-batch beers on draft, a pleasant complement to The Morning nearby, which offers homemade coffee, fresh baked pastries and bread, a constantly evolving set of organic made-to-order smoothies.  

The Market is all around as you continue on into the store, with walls lined with locally sourced fruits, vegetables, herbs, seafood, meats, and poultry, as well as a selection of craft beers and fine wines ranging from Guanacaste flavors to international influences. There are also a mixture of recognizable brands and conveniences, to provide all the necessities of town living. 

Visitors eating at Copper & Stone’s can take their food to go, but the grocery also offers the option for guests to take their food and drinks out to the terrace, a covered open-air space with a selection of couches, tables and small bars built for enjoying the Las Catalinas weather in rain or shine. The patio is stocked with a full coffee bar and an artisan water tap (the source of which is a closely guarded secret) and looks out directly onto Plaza Carlota, adding a natural energy of sociability to the area.

Guests looking for higher end wines and liquors can also make their way down the old brick steps behind the counter to The Cava, a true delight for those who prefer lingering with friends over a beautiful bottle. The Cava is one of the premier wine caves in the country, with controlled climate storage featuring more than 250 fine wines and spirits imported from the United States (many from Napa), Europe and South America. Keep an eye out while down there as well, as there is more going on downstairs than there first appears…

The store marks the culmination of years of work towards a vision of a haven for lovers of good food. Positioned as an extension of the growing Las Catalinas way of life, the market aims to be truly connected to nature, with diligent care paid to each supplier by Head Chef Geneau, with an emphasis on local produce and carefully curated imported products. Geneau is originally from Canada, but has lived in Costa Rica for the last 20 years and has been the country’s leader in responsible fishing for more than a decade. 

There is perhaps no better way to encapsulate the heart of Copper & Stone than a quote taken from the store’s opening press release, in which Geneau speaks on his love for the town and his goals for Copper & Stone.

“A unique town deserves a unique market,” says Geneau. “I was first introduced to Las Catalinas by a dear friend in 2013, and my wife and I quickly realized this town was not only an amazing place for the sustainable layered market concept we had in mind, but also where we wanted to settle down and raise our daughter. Now, here we are five years later. There is nowhere else on earth I’d rather live, work and play."

The arrival of Copper & Stone is an excellent step forward for town, and it’s an exciting prospect to see them thrive as Las Catalinas continues to grow in the coming years.

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