From events created by the hands of time and what books, illustrations, places and memories eternalise, from the roots of our land and the authenticity of our origins, experience and age carry a maturity that teaches us to value time and make the most of every moment.
This gift that life gives, the intuition and the sense of opportunity that history always pushes forward, can take us to very special places. The Mundo Fantástico da Sardinha Portuguesa (Fantastic World of the Portuguese Sardine) store, in Rossio, Lisbon, is one of those places. It is the materialisation of a project for a new strategy for Comur – Murtosa Canning Factory, which allows us, today, to draw attention to a story of courage and resilience to rebuild a factory in which many no longer believed, in a municipality that so much depended on it. From a prosperous era in the 40's to the 60's, it was then slowly succumbed to be dragged along a path that, if nothing had have been done, could have seen the same fate of hundreds of other canning industry factories in Portugal: the end.
Differentiation was the only possible way. Preserving natural resources, guaranteeing the continuity of the sector and employment and maintaining the use of ancestral methods were the main objective. Investing in origins and authenticity was the key and these differentiating elements that already existed and were just waiting to have a stage and a spotlight to make them shine. Converting true Portuguese heritage into memorable experiences, such as sardines, dignified and honoured in a well-kept space, full of history and magic, was the only way to elevate this heritage to the level where it should have always been. No secrets. Just conviction, light, colour and a lot of passion for a story that deserved to have its story told.
And so, bathed by the Tagus River and with a singular light that captivates and enchants, Lisbon, with the soul of fado and the voice of a poet, a city that smells like sardines during popular saints festivities, the country's capital, the Portuguese sidewalk and the seven hills , hosted, in its historic centre in November 2016, the Mundo Fantástico da Sardinha Portuguesa store, offering a multi-sensory experience of the magic of Portuguese preserves, now proudly taken to the four corners of the world. Before this, due to the respect that was imposed for history and due homage (and which comes back to origins) there was Comur: the eels in marinated vinegar, after all, it all started with a group of women who came together and founded Comur, presented to the world in an iconic store on Rua da Prata, also in Lisbon.
Time would eventually confirm the belief that origins do indeed possess an unrivalled magic, not reproducible by any automatic process, and is the true generator of value. Today, the Rossio store is one of the brand's 22 stores, each one carefully prepared to dignify its origins, and adapted to the city or region where it is located, taking care to respect and also pay homage to local roots. And the eels and sardines were quickly joined by other fish from the ocean, now counting almost thirty that have to be tried.
Taking history from books, illustrations, places and memories, and immortalising it later in other contexts that exalt the origins, is to give it the dignity it deserves. This is the genesis of the true value of time that history teaches us so well.