Belinda Ritchie, 's year-round General Manager and Buyer, has been a lot of places, but none quite so sweet as our beloved island. Her step-father, a prominent anthropologist, worked for many different universities during the course of her youth. The years of travel resulted in Ritchie going to eleven different schools before finally settling herself here on Martha's Vineyard. Since calling the Island her home, "I've never left," says Ritchie, "and I don't plan on leaving!"
Ritchie says she has always loved to shop at The Green Room, and was working at when she was offered the chance to join the Green Room staff by owner Elaine Barse. She jumped at the chance, and hasn't ever looked back.
Apart from loving to shop, Ritchie said she also enjoys riding her bike and taking her two dogs for walks on the chop, on the beach and in the woods around her house. Living only a short distance from The Green Room, Ritchie finds herself bicycling or walking there, most days, weather permitting. So if you see her out and about in Vineyard Haven, be sure to say Hello!
Martha's Vineyard Patch: How long have you lived on-Island? How long have you worked at The Green Room?
Ritchie: I moved here in May 1998, and this will be my 14th summer working at The Green Room.
Martha's Vineyard Patch: What are some of your favorite off-season pastimes?
Ritchie: I love beach walks, yoga, dinner parties with friends. A bunch of us from the Green Room do hot yoga together at Tapas, here in Vineyard Haven. My boyfriend is an avid hunter, and we enjoy cooking for and with our friends.
Martha's Vineyard Patch: What's your must-do event of the summer season?
Ritchie: Taste of the Vineyard and the Ag. Fair. But mostly Taste! I start to look forward to it as soon as it starts to get warm.
Martha's Vineyard Patch: How do you know when the off-season has officially begun?
Ritchie: No more outside dining after work, no more Coop De Ville. The harbor shuts down, it’s really noticeable.
Martha's Vineyard Patch: What do you personally find to be the most difficult thing about living here year-round?
Ritchie: The boat. Everybody has to deal with the boat! It's not really that difficult, but it is kind of a pain.
Martha's Vineyard Patch: What's your favorite thing about staying here all year?
Ritchie: I’ve always liked smaller towns, so I really enjoy the small community aspect, close friendships and beautiful surroundings.
Martha's Vineyard Patch: In your mind, what is the first sure sign that spring is returning to the island?
Ritchie: 30 boxes of Patagonia arrive at the store! Our Spring order of men’s and women’s clothing; it’s EVERYTHING and all comes at once!
Martha's Vineyard Patch: What advice would you give to those who might consider giving year-round island living a shot?
Ritchie: I would say, once you make it through the first winter, which is the hardest, don’t leave right afterwards because you’re finally acclimated! Stay for the summer, the next winter is way easier.
Martha's Vineyard Patch: What’s one thing you do you prepare for the on-coming rush of business for the summer season?
Ritchie: Honestly, I buy a new pair of Rainbow flip-flops and prepare for another crazy season!