Featuring a variety of the region’s best artisanal products, Algarve Tasting Basket creates bespoke hampers delivered in Portugal and abroad.
Entrepreneurial couple Paula Santos and Emmanuel Gaziaux have created a brand through which they share the Algarve’s best artisanal products. Since June, Algarve Tasting Basket has been delivering thematic and customisable hampers both nationally and abroad.
The idea is simple, to combine flavours in small hampers. From Medronho, made in the Serra do Caldeirão, with ham and sausages from Zambujal, produced in the interior of Alcoutim, to sardines from the Conserveira do Sul in Olhão with organic purple perpetual tea from São Brás de Alportel.
The couple, who have lived in Albufeira for over 30 years, make the combinations. Their main objective is to share the Algarve’s flavours, variety and quality, especially from small-scale producers.
Owners of a graphic arts company, during the pandemic, the couple was forced to invest in another sector. However, their desire to value the region’s best products was an old idea.
Family members, visiting friends and even tourists are those who motivate them. “It is often outsiders who notice the diversity, originality and quality of what we have around us. Thanks to this interest, we realised the value of small and medium-scale regional production and decided to go ahead with this project. It combines a mainly artisanal assortment, with raw material 100% from the Algarve”, explains Emmanuel Gaziaux.
A year of research followed, with dozens of visits to local markets, contacts with suppliers, and attendance at events and tastings to form the network. Work that culminated on June 18 with the creation of the brand.
“We are talking about a vast majority of artisanal products, made by people who learned their trade passed down from generation to generation. It’s a small community of producers with visibility at local markets, with unique products that can’t be found in large supermarkets. Of course, we cannot exclude other brands whose identity is already recognised, even from an international point of view”, explains Paula Santos.
So, “what we do is put these products together in hampers. We tried to create some thematic sets, just suggestive, that connect well with each other in terms of flavours and tradition. But we also allow clients to personalise their hampers. The only criterion is that we only work with products 100% from the Algarve. Nothing else”, adds Emmanuel Gaziaux.
The list of products includes items from the Barlavento to the Sotavento and from the Barrocal to the coast: olive oil (Olhão and Tavira), fig jam (Guia), wine (Albufeira), biscuits, cakes and stuffed figs (Messines), tea (Estoi), chouriço (Loulé), preserves (Olhão), ham (Alcoutim), carob flour (São Brás de Alportel), olives (Tavira), spicy sauces (Albufeira), carob tablets (Faro), among others.
Pre-designed hampers include 13 combinations, some with products from the mountains and others from the sea. There is a hamper focused on carob derivatives and another gourmet-inspired one, with prices ranging from €17.80 to €71.52.
Another particularity is that the hampers can be delivered in recyclable packaging, in palm or wicker baskets, the latter also produced by hand in the Algarve.
And who are they for? “For everyone. For those who live here to those who live abroad. And for those who want to share some of the region’s best flavours. But they can also be gifts for special events or ceremonies. I would say that they are for all occasions”, says Paula.
Even for people from the Algarve, because “curiously, there are many things that they still don’t know. This happened to us during the research we did”, she admits.
Not long ago, “we were contacted by an American company, based in San Francisco, linked to technologies. Once a year, they choose a different destination for an awards ceremony with employees from around the world. This year they chose Albufeira and ordered gift baskets from us”, points out Emmanuel Gaziaux.
Also, at a local level, “small companies have contacted us to order custom-made hampers to offer”, and there is yet another sector that seems to be a market with potential: real estate brokerage companies.
“We are asked for a lot of hampers to leave as a welcome gift for the new residents of the houses they sell”, adds Emmanuel.
Requests have also come from European countries: Belgium, France, Ireland, Lithuania and the United Kingdom. The Swedes and Swiss have also placed orders, some for export and others for delivery to family members. The brand’s mentors will continue to add new items to the list, and perhaps new hampers focused on regional crafts.
Christmas and well-being hampers for the festive season
With the Christmas festivities approaching, Algarve Tasting Basket has added a new range of products dedicated to well-being. There are soaps, moisturising creams, aromatic candles and massage oil, all handcrafted in Benafim, in the municipality of Loulé.
And the Christmas hampers have just been launched for the festive season. There are seven suggestions (Sweet, Wellness, Algarve Seasoning, Zen, Algarvean Essential, Southern Excellence and Flavours of the Mountain) with prices between €20.71 and €43.33.
Orders can be placed through the website (https://algarvetastingbasket.com/), on social media (@algarvetastingbasket), by email ([email protected]) or by phone (967 037 896).