At age 16, Dan Perkins began working at Nisbet Plantation. Our intimate resort, and guests, quickly found a place in his heart. Now 34 years later, Dan is our longest-standing member of the staff and still serves guests with a bright smile and great conversation.
In 1982 we first welcomed Dan to Nisbet Plantation as a groundsman. Although Dan has positive energy and a strong work ethic, the role simply wasn’t the right fit and Dan took a step away from our resort.
A few weeks later, the general manager (and Perkins’ family friend) called Dan’s father, requesting he immediately send Dan back to Nisbet – this time in black pants and a white shirt. Upon Dan’s return, he was introduced to his new role and put behind the Great House bar. This day marked the beginning of Dan’s successful mixologist career.
While Dan easily conquered the basics and was quick to charm the guests, it took a little longer to master the handcrafted cocktails. Guests were quite encouraging and gave Dan tips, and some even mailed him cocktail recipes and handbooks after they had returned home.
One guest spent a lot of time in the Great House and was determined to help Dan succeed. He sat in the corner of the bar, and as other guests placed their order, he would teach Dan how to concoct the complicated cocktails.
Passion & Motivation
When asked what keeps him motivated, Dan quickly responds “the guests.” Throughout his tenure, he’s created strong friendships with our guests – new visitors, longtime returners and everyone in between.
The admiration is mutual, and Nisbet’s most frequent guests (who have visited 60+ times) say they value the permanent friendships they’ve formed on Nevis. In fact, they made a special trip to Nisbet specifically to help Dan ring in his 51st birthday.
Dan had such a close relationship with one guest, Avian Owens, that Dan set his own wedding date based on Avian’s next planned stay. He wanted his friend to attend and sing in his wedding, and the entire island of Nevis was abuzz with excitement when word got out an international opera singer was performing for Dan!
“It’s about meeting lovely people who give you encouragement. Then, when you see them year after year, it makes you feel really, really good.” –Dan Perkins
Dan met his wife Cynthia 26 years ago at a cricket game in St. Kitts. They immediately hit it off, and the rest is history.
Now, after 19 years of marriage, they have four beautiful children. Many years ago, Cynthia’s father brought horse racing on Nevis, so this event is deeply treasured by the entire Perkins family, and one of their favorite family traditions was attending the horse races on Boxing Day.
Photo: Tina Thuell Photography
Dan expresses his family members are the ones to push him, and he appreciates their continued support.
Beyond the Avenue
When he’s not behind the bar, you’re most likely to find Dan out fishing. Sometimes his “catch-of-the-day” even ends up being served at the Great House, so keep your eyes out for his fresh lobster and fish on the daily menus!
Another great talent is Dan’s affinity for creating clay handicrafts at New Castle Pottery, just across the street from the entrance to Nisbet Plantation. Many years ago, the Nevis Government recognized Dan’s natural talents and sent him to Taiwan to learn and study the trade. With his unrivaled passion and skill, Dan’s stunning clay creations are certainly one-of-a-kind.
The Legacy Continues
Dan brings unique character and charm to our resort. We appreciate his hard work, loyalty and dedication and wish him many more years of happiness at Nisbet Plantation.
Photo: Tina Thuell Photography
What is your favorite memory of Dan? Tell us in a comment below!