During D. Luiza’s time, the groceries were bought in the grocery store down the street, in the market, or in the small farmers’ houses of the village. D. Luiza products are made as before. Without chemicals or processed, because we believe it is the way that quality is dictated.
Name: Carlos Cavaco
Brand: D. Luiza – Produtos do Alentejo
During D. Luiza’s time, the groceries were bought in the grocery store down the street, in the market, or in the small farmers’ houses of the village. Yes, it were hard times, and the meals were scarcer. But we also have memories of the tastes. And that’s what makes you homesick.
D. Luiza products are made as before. Without chemicals or processed, because we believe it is the way that quality is dictated.
They are products that preserve the traditional knowledge and practices that so well characterize and distinguish our Alentejo as an agricultural region of excellence. Because we still have a lot to learn from the elderly. In particular, how they have always managed to create the best products, treating the earth with respect.
If before we could not replicate the taste of mother’s and grandmother’s food, we can now. Again. And always.
How did you come up with the idea/project?
This idea arises mainly because it began to see a decrease of traditional crops as is the case of the chickpea variety of the dryland variety, the oil made exclusively from galega olives. I realized that “old-fashioned products” were disappearing and it was not because there was no consumer demand. Often it was due to the fact that the market was strangled, being difficult to find distributors for this type of products. At the end of the day, the mission of D. Luiza – Produtos do Alentejo is to preserve and continue these products as we know them, reaching consumers in Portugal and Europe, produced and marketed in a sustainable and fair manner.
And the name?
D. Luiza was my maternal grandmother, it is also the face of her that we see in the products. With these products, we want to honor it and as we wrote on our website “(…) for many years that it has lived, much chickpeas picked and taught to do, very tempered and taught to temper, very conserved and taught to conserve He did not live long enough to open the grocery store he always wanted, but his name and face linger on these products. “
What differentiates the project?
Especially the great component of labor and ancestral knowledge. The crops of our products are few mechanized, without the use of chemicals, very handy in the same way as they used to be in the fields, so we believe that we have been able to create superior and healthier products, as before.
What are the best moments / stories you’ve ever had because of D. Luiza?
The deal is relatively recent in the way we see it now, so there are no historical moments to point out, yet each order is a small victory and leaves us all a little more motivated.
Next challenges or plans?
The biggest challenge we are facing now has to do with changing facilities. We are in a bigger space and with all the conditions to treat the best products that we have in the region, but this implies greater costs and financial effort, the challenge now is to keep the business sustainable, both economically and from an environmental point of view. With regard to this second point, one of the intrinsic objectives we have is increasingly to work with biological products, the products with which jobs are produced without resources to chemicals, but not all are still certified, and it is in this sense that we want to walk.
What is your favorite place in Portugal?
Taking into account the whole project environment we are talking about, nor would it make sense to refer somewhere other than Alentejo.
What is your favorite Portuguese food?
It may seem biased that you choose the chickpeas because it is one of our “star” products. But since I was little, the stew was always one of my favorite foods.
If you could choose products to include in Tugabox to send to a friend, what would they be?
They would always be products of local production because these are the true Portuguese products and we are fortunate that Portugal has a vast heritage in this aspect. Then he would be careful to diversify the box, choosing the best of each zone but so that the box represented Portugal as a whole.