Café Porto has reached the end of its cycle of 16 years.
It has been a dream that came true, where I represented the best of Portuguese food, culture and my homeland, in this amazing city filled up with extraordinary people, visitors and culture. In my first years, I have helped promote mostly Porto City but also Portugal as a whole (now, Porto City doesn’t need promotion).
A big thank you to all who have supported us and a special thank you to all staff who helped to build our success and to all our suppliers.
Many challenges and victories have happened over the years, and we even managed to survive the Covid difficult times. The business has been re-growing solid, and the garden has been a great help.
However, it has exposed the lack of staff on the market which has been taking the toll on me and Mary, as we couldn’t build a proper working team.
At the same time, our concept uses imported goods from the EU, which would force us to increase prices to the level of “fine dining”. However, the 1% cannot support all businesses when in reality, 80% of employment is provided by small and medium businesses.
The business has been taken by my dear friend John, with his family Tandoori recipes, and you should try it as it is very good.
My political view:
Being in business I have always heard that “you shouldn’t express your political views”.
Well, Portugal was 48 years under a dictatorship regime (1926-1974) and I do praise freedom of expression.
Also, if politics affects our life why shouldn’t we speak out?
A special word for a theme that seems that is taboo in the UK: BREXIT
“If you have a serious disease, you should talk and tackle it”
-BREXIT was a scam.
Data manipulation like in Trump’s and Bolsonaro’s elections was also used to give victory in this referendum. But while the 2 examples given could be kicked out of Government after the 4 years terms (like they were), the “unelected forces” behind BREXIT, enforced it “forever” making it an undemocratic process.
The BREXIT was enforced, despite being for consultation only, in the UK.
-BREXIT is a farse
“Aiming to trade with the other side of the world”, when there are serious concerns and world Conventions about Climate Change and Carbon footprint, is just ludicrous.
-BREXIT is working well for the unelected masters of the scam. The gap between the rich and the poor is bigger by the day and there will be nothing in-between. The “levelling up” concept is just a joke. It is not more than a carrot, in the end of a very long stick, which is getting longer every day.
-The European students were replaced by Commonwealth and Chinese ones, which I am sure, will like a good Curry.
-Instead of well-trained and adaptable European workers, you have now students from cultures where “their mothers do all the cooking”.
On the other end, you see loads of illegal people applying for jobs. Many of them are getting jobs around the country so the businesses can keep trading, but not contributing to the UK economy and taxes. At the same time, they are vulnerable to their rights.
Is this the “Spirit of the Empire” the Brexiters were aiming for?
-Tourism has suffered with Brexit
Short stays and weekends in the UK by EU citizens have dropped because now, they need a passport to travel to the UK, while they only need an ID card to travel to 27 other countries.
I hope the UK sort out this undemocratic mess that got itself in.
The referendum should be repeated. The minimum for a binding result would have to be 60%/40%.
Immigration should be regulated, so they would be paying taxes on their work and have work rights.
-A small word about landlords:
A landlord in the UK is seen by the Tories as the “Lord of the land”, giving them allowances and letting them do almost anything with impunity. A responsible restaurant business has straight Health and Safety and Food Hygiene rules to follow, paying for waste and recycling collection and keeping their bins area clean and tidy.
The landlord allows his residents and Airbnb tenants to pile up rubbish on overloaded bins for weeks and weeks, attracting seagulls and rats to the area. The Environmental Health Services do nothing, despite the fact they are called to stop this.
As I have learned through life “a friend is the one who points out to me what I need to know, not the one who always agrees with me”.