Today I'm super excited to share the results of my visit to A Venda, a small cozy shop situated in Faro (Algarve, Portugal). I invited the beautiful people behind this interesting project Ana and Vasco for a small interview and take inspiring pictures. They accepted and I felt like a real journalist!(my dream job until I found out that I love too much my life to spend 12 hours per day working) After this I felt more motivated to interview more adorable-to-me small biz and that's how born the new feature in the blog "Smalll Business Love". I will try my best to include as many countries as possible in this feature so you can travel with me.
Before I start the interview I'd like to tell you more about the meaning of Venda. I'm pretty sure people not from Portugal or young portuguese generations have no idea what's this.
Venda, also known as taberna or tasca, was on the 70's a place where you could eat, drink and socialize with other costumers. Mostly there wasn't menu, you felt like have an egg sandwich and you'd get it. The owners of Venda would make sure they could satisfy people's wishes.
Time changed and now a days vendas were replaced for restaurants and coffee shops, losing the traditional identity and even culture. The restaurants and cooffee shops of today are mainly to eat, drink, pay, leave. The quality of food doesn't matter anymore, the cheapest and faster, the best. There's no time for socialization or make new friends.
A Venda born to remember that typical food is healthy and delicious, sit and relax, take your time tasting good food and wine while you discuss the news with your friends and/or other costumers.
Hello guys, thanks a lot to collaborate with me. So let's start with the cliché question: How come you open this place? How did you start?
Vasco: After Chistmas day 2012 Ana came and said to me: Let's open A Venda! This project has everything to do with us, our interest for antiques and traditional food. Christmas is the time of change and we wanted to do something different. We opened only as a mercearia (mini grocery shop) but we both love gastronomy so we started cooking typical portuguese snacks. Each decoration item was found in Flea Markets, they are unique from old times.
Ana: It was a difficult process though. The city hall of Faro decided to help small businesses in other to re-open the many shops that were closed because of the economical crisis and we decided to apply. We found this place and it was love at first sight. We weren't the lucky ones who got the help from the city hall so we applied for employment center programs and ask debit in the bank.
Wow... it was a long process. When did you open? What're the opening hours?
We opened on December 8th 2013. The opening hours (Laugh): We close on Sundays and Mondays. Tuesday to Thursday from 10 am to 8pm. Fridays and Before Holidays from 10 am to 11pm and on Saturdays from 1pm until 11pm.
Isn't it a bit confusing?
We changed already many times. We try to follow people's schedules, they are more free on Fridays and Saturdays so we are open until late. During the week they are busy working all day.
That's pretty smart guys!
Do you promote other activities here?
Right now we have "A Venda Convida" (A Venda Invites) a special dinner first Saturday of the month with a different theme and where tweenty strangers can sign up. The dinner reservation is not for the table but for a chair. The point is to challenge all the participants talk with eachother, share points of view and perhaps make new friends.
We are also thinking about organizing gastronomy courses and other surprises :)
Do you think A Venda is a sucess?
We hope so! We opened few months ago but so far so good. The mini grocery shop part has slow sales but the cooking is doing pretty good.
Vasco: We try to satisfy people's tastes so we offer 50% vegetarian and 50% non-vegetarian. In the old times there wasn't such thing as the vegetarianism but we try to suit the modern times, I'm a vegetarian for tweenty years! The most important is to keep the socialization between people in this place, everyone is welcome.
Also people can give a try before buying, they know our grocery shop has only quality products. We want to keep A Venda spirit with different menus all the time, what you eat on Tuesday, you won't eat the next Tuesday so costumers don't get sick of the same food over and over again. We try to be as much sustainable as possible and reuse leftovers for the next day or weekend, that's exactly what people used to do 2000 years ago! The important here is to know about the tradition and respect it with some changes. For example we cooked fava beans as a Risotto instead of chorizo (sausage) which is the traditional way. We also mix with international gastronomy.
Which tips would you give to someone who wants to open a business like A Venda?
Ana: Definitly talk with someone who's in the area already and work as a partnership.
It's important to go step by step, using your skills but slowly. There's a lot of work behind: Finances, Grocery Shopping, Cleaning!
"We created an house where we like to be"
And Extra! I asked a costumer what were his thoughts about A Venda and he answered: "This is the first place like this in Faro. It's a different concept comparing with regular coffee shops with an industrial feeling, here you feel at home, cozy and nice to socialize or to come just for a traditional snack. On the 70's and 80's there was the cult of taking breakfast and snacks outside with a traditional approach. There're also people of different ages coming here. This is a place where I could come with my parents!"
I agree with every single word. Whenever you enter you feel like sitting with your legs on the table :) The environment is positive and harmonious. Not to mention my deep passion for vintage. I just can't wait to go back during this week! Became my favorite place in Algarve.
Say Olá to these cutie faces! Grateful Ana and Vasco for this opportunity to know more about your newest project and to share it with the World. Wish you all the best sucess!!! You guys rock!!! :)
More about A Venda in their Facebook Page here. You can check daily menus, photos of the delicious meals and snacks and the new activities.