Nobody would imagine that, behind the counter of a shop dedicated to selling honey and derived products, there would be an ex-stylist. But that is just the scenario when you talk about Fátima Silva, the owner of “Lagar do Mel”, an establishment that has been located in Bombarda Shopping Centre for two years now.
“I used to work as a stylist in a company in my area of training, which is Fashion Design. At a certain moment, I decided to take some after-work courses in Marketing and Merchandising and, during one of those works that we usually do during training courses, I do not know how or why – I had this thought: ‘A honey brand would be a funny thing…'”, Fátima explains. “I do not have beekeepers in my family and I had no contact with bees, except for normal observation, in the garden or at home”, she warns.
The truth is that the bug got in and, as Fátima was not very satisfied in the job she had, she was developing her curiosity, to the point of participating in training courses in the area of beekeeping, which made her leave Porto to go to Trás-os-Montes, on Friday evening, and only return on Sunday to, on Monday, resume the day-to-day in the fashion world. “At a certain point, I got really bored at work, I quit my job and started working on ‘Lagar do Mel’,” Fátima sums up.
After that, it was a matter of time before the project, as we know it today, took shape. “I can say that I embraced this activity with great passion, bearing in mind that I had never had contact with this universe”, she says.
The years she has been behind the counter have allowed her to collect stories worthy of a real film: “Once, a man came up to me asking for honey, but made a point of warning me that it had to be really good, because it would be to make a love spell”.
In fact, honey seems to awaken the strongest feelings, as another experience of Fatima proves: “Another time, a man came up to me because he wanted to buy honey. As I usually do, I asked him what kind of honey he wanted. If he wanted a more intense or softer honey… And he answered: ‘Look, if it was for me, anything would do, but it is for the doves. I want the best you have got’.