I have raved before about my local shop both on here and on Facebook but decided it was time I introduced it to you so you can see why I love it so much.
When we first moved to the Colares area I found this shop on my first weekend and fell in love with the traditional chaotic interior and got to know the owners, Senor Manuel and Dona Fernanda along with Pedro Vale who, at that time spent all his spare time working in the shop in-between his studies at the local college, but now he has moved on to full-time position in hospitality. Still miss his cheery smile - he interviewed both of us as one of his projects for college on why we loved shopping locally. Think it might be on Youtube somewhere!!!
Sadly, since those early days, the village has lost a butcher, two small grocery shops, and a lovely drogaria - all missed - the recession bit hard on small businesses. However O Pomarinho or 'Poms' as we lovingly call it, has gone from strength to strength.
From the exterior, the shop looks deceptively small. Once inside it opens up to reveal an extremely well-stocked grocery and deli along with wines, spirits, bakery and coffee bar. I have been known to take my coffee with me as I roam the shelves discovering new delights that appear every week.
It's much bigger than it looks!
A good selection of vegetables - in season - greets you. Always nice to eat seasonable.
The lovely Dona Fernanda in the bakery, cake and coffee bar area.. Always very patient with me as I learn the names of all the different breads, cakes and biscuits. Fresh bread daily from two local bakeries and some baked in-house. There is also an option to order a roast chicken. A small selection of traditional cakes and biscuits is on this counter - fresh daily. At the sides, just out of shot, are shelving units with the usual assortment of branded crisps and the much better simple, tasty non-additive ones - highly recommended.
There is always a good selection of fruit in season ranging from oranges to avocados, grapes to limes, kiwis to figs - you name it - you can probably find it. If you like your fruit or vegetables all matching in size and beautifully formed, this will not suit you. This is fruit and vegetables as they are and not to a supermarket pattern.
Looking down from bakery section to the cleaning products, toiletries section. The fridge on the right has an interesting selection of products for Romanian and Russian residents. Fascinating sausages, cheeses etc. Also, if you do not fancy washing a lettuce, you can find the usual bagged salad leaves and rocket as well as a small selection of prepared fresh chicken.
The cleaning products and toiletry section. Good range to choose from and some nice natural shampoos, conditioners, body creams, as well as face cream and hand cream with the usual brand names from Nivea to Atrixo. Further down on the right hand shelf, are the olive oils, vinegars, flour, coffee, pet food, tinned beans etc section. The left hand range of shelving has a varied selection of health food goods including organic items.
Wines, beers, water, fruit juices, milk - from cow's to almond to soya - section. The range of wines is excellent.
There are two fridges at this end. This one with a good range of yoghurts, pates, butters, fresh pasta, as well as tofu etc for vegetarians. In fact the shop has a huge range of health foods and organic items. It literally caters for everyone. The other fridge has a good range of cheese, ready-to-use pastry, smoked salmon etc.
Round the corner from the fridge is the spirits section - everything you need or perhaps wish to experiment with.
A better view of the spirit section. On the right is the deli counter with a great selection of olives, meats, traditional cheeses, fresh cheese, herbs, spices etc.
You can sometimes find Marmite lurking on the counter here. Wonderful local honey is also on the back shelf. They say you should always eat honey that is made locally for the best effect.
This freezer has frozen fish, pizza, desserts, traditional savoury items that you can bake or fry at home - something for everyone.
Andreea is going to kill me for this photo. She was laughing when I took it. Perhaps next time I am in there, I can take a better one and replace it.
These three lovely girls, are always helpful, whether it is about finding a product that they may not have, but can get for you, to helping people pack their shopping or even carrying it out to a car for people. Nothing is too much trouble.
So there you are. My local grocers, bakery, coffee shop, delicatessen, off licence that I could not live without.
Treasure your local shop, if you have one, we need them.