In the confusion of big business grocery shopping, some of us ask what happened to the Portuguese grocery stores that created memories that appeared in comic scenes of our cinema? To answer this question, we present today the history of Mercearia Poço dos Negros and its owners, who promptly tell the whole of Portugal: they are still here.
Maria and Eduardo are no strangers to the traditional business. Their career as entrepreneurs has already encompassed two houses based on handcrafted products. This grocery store represents, therefore, a culmination of the experience acquired in these previous establishments. They were fortunate in finding the perfect place for this new commercial adventure in the street where they lived, Poço dos Negros. The curious name comes from the Cluniac order of the Benedictine monks who had a well on the southern edge of their property. It should be noted that this took place before the construction of the Lisbon aqueduct and, consequently, made water a precious commodity. The order wore black coats and the name ended up being forever linked to this characteristic.
Going back to a more recent past: the number 97-99, which until then was occupied by the Taberna Madeirense, gave way to the Mercearia Poço dos Negros. The opening was on December 12, 2016 and the establishment has been steadily growing, both in quality and affluence. The decoration was conceptualized by Eduardo, for whom architecture was always a passion, while the logo was in created by the designer Mariana Soares. The public is a hodgepodge of residents and Airbnb tourists and they all leave the grocery store - if they so wish - with a unique knowledge of the products sold here. This is because Maria and Eduardo are keen to know what they are selling. On the other hand, they also know very well the people they work with, all of them local producers, who sell in small quantities in order to ensure the quality and practical application of centenarian processes.
At the Mercearia Poço dos Negros you can find a little bit of everything and everything that is there represents a little of who makes them. From the pieces in Burel (100% sheep wool) that last a lifetime, to the gem salt that comes from the salt mines of Rio Maior, the grocery store is filled with real treasures. From a family of Pernes the store receives articles in wood, carved from a single piece. From Lamego come fresh walnuts, open by hand, only when Maria and Eduardo order them, as well as a delicious marmalade that is still made right by the fireplace. And if anyone has wondered about the peculiar aroma that sometimes emanates in this and other areas of the city, Maria solves the mystery: in Madragoa, the Flor da Selva coffee is made, in the old way, roasted with firewood. And Of course, one could not miss the canned fish. The grocery store works with three canneries that, in addition to using virgin olive oil that hones the taste of the canning in the long run, scald the fish before they can it. A rare delight! Of note is the much sought after ventresca of tuna and roasted cod that goes is canned with olive oil and garlic. Yes, roasted and canned codfish! In the field of rarities, we also mention that some of the wines sold here are numbered, guaranteeing them a certain exclusivity.
The duo of entrepreneurs also have environmental sustainability concerns. Bulk sale is a big bet for the establishment and many of the customers already bring their own packaging. Plastic is avoided whenever possible.
This is the Mercearia Poço dos Negros, a place of delicious variety, where sympathy is a constant and dialogue, a way of knowing the customer, instead of serving only to confirm the change. Do not hesitate to come to know this pleasant store and enjoy the free wine tastings that are occasionally organized, with the representatives of the respective brands, always accompanied by good food, as the good Portuguese culture dictates.