Welcome to Portugalia Marketplace, a passport to the authentic flavors of Portugal!
Established over 30 years ago by founder Fernando Benevides and now passionately run by his children:
Michael and Jennifer.
Their 20,000-square-foot boutique has earned its place as the go-to destination for Portuguese specialty foods and home goods in the United States.
Immerse yourself in the richness of Portuguese culture and cuisine, where every visit is a celebration of tradition and taste.
1. Tell us about Portugalia Marketplace:
2. And what about its story?
The business was founded by Fernando Benevides in 1988 in a 3-car garage to serve the large immigrant community, primarily Azorean families at the time, who lived in the region. Fernando had entrepreneurial aspirations when he first immigrated with his family to the US in 1979. He initially worked as a boat carpenter with no previous experience in this field. Later, he started his business, all the while working in a textile mill for which the city of Fall River is well known, to provide for his family until he was certain he had a sustainable business model.
After a while, the business proved successful to the extent that Fernando left his job at the factory to commit his time and effort to the company. I was 11 when my father started the business, and I was happy to tag along with my father, whom I looked up to and admired for breaking out and attempting to create his own path. I always worked in the business while I was in school and continued to do so as a university student. When I graduated, I worked for the business full time and expressed interest in expanding the business.
In 2010, we started our pursuit of looking for a building to expand our retail footprint. We discovered an old textile factory two blocks from our then-location. We purchased the building we are in and did two years worth of renovations to restore the structure and turn it into a shopping experience. Prior to this move, Portugalia had only been known to the ethnic community "mercado de saudade," and this new marketplace was an attempt at showcasing our products and our culture to the general public.
In 2013, Portugalia Marketplace opened to rave reviews. We immediately saw our ethnic consumers coming in within days of the opening to experience the new Portugalia, and within days they were bringing their children and grandchildren to experience the market. The market became an immediate source of pride to the Portuguese patrons who had contributed to it’s success over the years. We also started to witness changing demographics in the market, seeing other ethnic groups, foodies, culturally curious patrons, etc. The market has become reffered to as destination store, an ambassadorship of Portuguese products, a cultural destination.
In 2016, we started our online division, portugaliamarketplace.com, hundreds of products to customers all over the US. In 2018, we started receiving national media attention from various outlets such as SAVEUR, PBS, etc., giving the brand national recognition. In 2019, we opened a small design division of our company called Artigos, where we sell the best Portugal has to offer in terms of handmade, heritage, design objects from brands such as Luz Editions, Casa Cubista, GUR rugs, Vista Alegre, Cutipol, etc.
3. What products from Luz Editions products do you sell?
Tea Towels, ©LuzEditions
4. What are the most common comments from your customers about our brand?
5. Which Luz Editions products are most appreciated by your customers?
Black Clay Candles, ©LuzEditions
6. What products would you like Luz Editions to develop in the future?