There is life in the Moncarapacho Market, even with few traders

O Sul Informação you are visiting the 18 markets that are part of the Regional Network of Local Markets

Photo: Mariana Carriço | Sul Informação

At the Lisdália Esperança stand, there is a little bit of everything the earth has to offer: vegetables, fruit, bread, dried fruit, jams and even cakes. She is the most recent seller at the Moncarapacho Market, but also the one with the largest number of stalls (three), which she shares with her daughter.

«I was already part of the Olhão Markets, but then someone left and they invited me to come here with my products. I deal more with the vegetables and fruits, my daughter does the sweets and nuts, but today she couldn't come", she tells Sul Informação, as it serves those who pass by.

Lisdália is 50 years old and, therefore, after her daughter, besides being the most recent salesperson, she is the youngest. Having only been at the Moncarapacho market for two years, she started working «in the containers», where the market operated during the requalification works which ended in the summer.

The Moncarapacho Market, now renewed, is one of the 18 that are part of the Regional Network of Local Brands and which, therefore, also received the “Ha Petisco no Mercado” initiative, coordinated by the Vicentina development association, which established numerous partnerships to carry out this project, financed by PADRE – Action Plan for the Development of Endogenous Resources, integrated into CRESC Algarve 2020.

When we passed there, there was no small amount of movement.

There were many – and even from different age groups – who wanted to understand what was going on here and try the snack of the day: some goat cheese puffs with crushed olives and pistachios.


Photo: Mariana Carriço | Sul Informação


As they put them in their mouths, the reactions were one of satisfaction and, with the snack in hand, the customers went strolling through the market and appreciating what the stalls had to sell.

In this recently renovated location, there are still stalls to be occupied and the stores are all empty.

In addition to Lisdália, there are another half dozen vendors who bring life to the Moncarapacho Market, which has another fruit and vegetable stand and three fish stands.

Also with local products, we find Aldina Santos, who opened her stall recently.

«I was here before, as an employee, but then the person I worked for closed his bank and I went to the unemployment fund. When the square reopened, I thought I could try selling. I opened the activity and came to see how it was going,” she tells our newspaper.


Aldina at her fruit and vegetable stand. Photo: Mariana Carriço | Sul Informação


The day of the “Ha Petisco no Mercado” initiative was different from usual, because, most of the time, there is little movement.

«More traders are needed here. As there are few of us, people don't come very often and prefer to buy in supermarkets. It used to work well, but now a lot of things have closed and without the butcher…”

Higina Carlos, from the fish stand, complains about the same thing.

«The population here is older and we noticed a big decrease with the opening of Intermarché right next door. This is a small land. When there weren't large supermarkets, there were more people in the market, now, as there are, they come there and take everything: meat, fish, vegetables... The butcher's shop here is sorely missed», he says, as he picks up the fish.

Having worked in this market for over 10 years, she believes that the changes following the requalification works could have been more beneficial.


Higina Carlos. Photo: Mariana Carriço | Sul Informação


«The best thing was that they added water, because the stalls were very high, the fish, when we put it up here on the stall, falls down, they are very inclined, I can't get to the fish. It was also a long time in the containers and people stopped coming", he says, reinforcing that the biggest problem is the number of empty stores.

«There are people wanting to occupy the spaces, and that is a good sign, but they have wanted to since September and it would be good that the competitions had already been opened», he continues.

Armando Graça, a fish seller at this market for 35 years, considers that the works were beneficial, but also highlights the lack of a butcher's shop.

“We can't complain too much. This was very fragile, it was raining inside and now there are better conditions, we can work more freely and that's what I see from this. As for the butcher's shop, the gentleman who was here had worked here for as many years as I had, but soon, the conditions weren't what he wanted either and he left.”

Ana Paula also has a fish stall, because, as she says, «you need to have a little of everything», even though «purchasing power is small and many opt for horse mackerel, mackerel and more affordable fish».

This Wednesday morning, we came across several buyers, but Ana Paula also complains about the lack of movement.


Ana Paula. Photo: Mariana Carriço | Sul Informação


«Saturday is always the best day, but there is a need for more business here and initiatives like this that attract people, both older and younger», says the trader who has also been with the company for 10 years.

Eduardo Cruz, president of the board of directors of Mercados de Olhão, which manages the spaces in Olhão, Moncarapacho and Fuzeta, assured that competitions for available vacancies in the three markets are scheduled to open soon and reinforced the importance of not letting them die.

«What we see here is fresh product and this is what makes the difference from other commercial formats. It is not a product with another life cycle. Furthermore, everything we can do here to attract other different audiences is positive,” he says.


Photo: Mariana Carriço | Sul Informação


Who also defends it is Francisco Justino, coordinator of the Olhão Markets, who, with these events, hopes to «revive more people's habit of coming to the market».

Márcio Viegas, president of the Vicentina association, highlights how the Moncarapacho Market is a good example.

«It's a small market, like most markets in this regional network. What we intend is to boost the network in these more peripheral territories in relation to the main coastal markets. This is a good example of a recent work, but which also needs new generations to survive. We need to show that it is good to consume locally, also because we need to pay attention to short circuits and our ecological footprint, in addition to health issues».

About to finish, Márcio gives a very positive assessment of the “There is petisco no Mercado” initiative, reinforcing that, in Moncarapacho, participation was very good.

Now, as the sellers advocate, we must continue to bring more of these initiatives, so that the joy continues throughout the week.


Photos: Mariana Sedge | Sul Informação


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