Flor da Selva, Lda. was established in 1950 by Manuel Alves Monteiro, born in Paderne, Melgaço, father of the current owners, Vasco Faria Monteiro and Jorge Faria Monteiro, presently the managing principal.
Manuel Alves Monteiro, the oldest of 8 siblings in a family that would become connected to coffee production, moved to Lisbon when he was 13 years old, after having finished primary school. It had been his maternal uncle Manuel Alves San Payo – a renowned photographer and official photographer of the regime at the time, who received him at the capital city in 1937 – the one that made flourish in him that will to move to Lisbon.
He used to tell that, in one of the usual visits he paid to his family in the North, his uncle had offered him a generous slice of “Bolo Rei”, which was eagerly swallowed by the then young boy Manuel Alves Monteiro. It was “Lisbon’s bread”, the famous photographer had told him. This phrase set the imagination of this child on fire because, if “Lisbon’s bread” tasted so great, everything else could just be wonderful.
He started to work in food distribution (in grocers at that time), an activity that he would perform together with his studies at night, in Ateneu Comercial.
After having managed to save some money, he purchased a share of the Ferreira & Maurício, Lda coffee factory, whose commercial name was “Flor Africana”, based in Rua da Rosa no. 113 Bairro Alto), thus becoming Mr. Manuel Ferreira’s partner.
In 1950, after having left that partnership, he founded his own company named A Flor da Selva, Lda., with a store in Rua da Esperança no. 50, backed by a warehouse, roasting and grinding factory in Travessa do Pasteleiro no. 40.
The origin of the “Flor da Selva” brand may eventually been related to the name of the former partnership. In its original logo we can see an elegant and stylish African woman, created and designed by his cousin Nuno San Payo, student of architecture at the time.
Over the years the brand image has evolved, adapting itself to the tastes of time and always with the support of the then already architect Nuno San Payo, having always maintained the “Flower” as a common thread and a connection to its origin.
In the decades of the 50s and 60s, with the colaboration of his employees and relatives, he founded in Lisbon and its surrounding area 7 stores which sold coffee and other products (tea,
spices, dried fruit, jams, etc.), where Flor da Selva, working as a purchase centre, subsidized coffee and other related products.
Flor da Selva has been from the start one of the companies responsible for the dissemination and disclosure of “Pure Coffee”, typically Portuguese (using unically coffee from our overseas provinces).
Together with other small coffee roasting companies, Flor da Selva has been a motor for the creation of the National Association of Coffee Roasters (ANT), currently named Coffee Industry and Commerce Association (AICC), from which, interestingly, we are not afiliates.
Today we, children and grandchildren, pursue the work started by Manuel Alves Monteiro, maintaining the original production process and the quality of the final product, so as to make endure over time the way how has been thought, produced and tasted this Coffee which is our life.
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