About Us

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Our company was founded for over fifty years ago by the father of the current partner, being currently named João Mendes Unipessoal, Lda.

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Since the beginning, the company has been dedicated to the manufacture of adult and children hats of different materials, as well as to a great variety of palm articles. The company had a natural evolutionary process, from the initial stage of manufacturing, with the members of the family as workers. The production that initially was only for local consumption moved utterly into overseas markets, always maintaining craft characteristics.

RAW MATERIAL

The palm used as raw material for making woven palm leaf called “empreita” is worked through various drying processes and preparation, since its most pure state to the final product. It is worked by local artisans that nowadays are increasingly hard to find and with tendency to disappear over time.

The woven palm leaf arose from the need to have vessels for harvesting, packaging and transportation of a wide variety of agricultural products, such as almonds, figs, carobs and many other articles for daily life.

The rug or doormat palm woven palm leaf has become very popular in people’s homes due to the gap of furniture in the most humble houses.

Originally, the raw material came from the inner Algarve, however, later, due to a substantial increase of the production of these articles, by local artisans, it began to occur a lack of raw material, having thus the need for the importation of palm to fulfil the needs for the artisan’s works.

In the past, there were a large number of craftsmen/craftswomen who dedicated themselves to make a wide variety of palm articles, which were then sold by our and other local companies. However, over the years, we start to lose the existing workforce because of the expansion of international markets, the use of new materials and the large industrial production.

However, in recent years, there has been a great demand for regional trend in products made by hand, in particular, and in our specific case, in the palm products.

COMPANY

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With decades of experience in the Algarve regional craft industry and widely respected both nationally and internationally, our company, tries to respond to a growing trend that has been observed in recent times, on the demand for these regional products handcrafted, that we have always very proudly presented to our customers.

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We also have always tried to offer to our clients a great variety and distinctive craft items that we import from other countries in order to meet the needs of an increasingly demanding and competitive market wide public.