Located in downtown Porto on the same street as Bolsa Palace, Fabrica do Azeite opened its doors in late 2021. This “Olive Oil Factory’ is more than just a place to purchase olive oil. With a storefront showcasing real olive trees, Fabrica do Azeite is a sustainable olive oil aficionado’s dream.
From tasting the high-quality olive oil to purchasing regional products closely linked to the olive cycle, Fabrica do Azeite provides a unique experience.
But the star of the show is the Acushla olive oil. At the start of this project in 2006, Joaquim Moreira’s goal was to develop one of the best olive oils in the world. “And I think we did it,” says the founder of Fabrica do Azeite and Acushla.
In the last four years, Acushla has won over 50 international awards. In 2021, the olive oil won Gold for the Best Organic Extra Virgin Olive Oil in the World.
It was in Quinta do Prado, Vila Flor in the Trás-os-Montes and Alto Douro region where the olive oil production began. On 214 hectares with around 70,000 olive trees, the estate is one of the largest organic production areas in the whole region.
Acushla olive oil has a unique characteristic – a high index of polyphenols. The potential health benefits of plant polyphenols include effects that are anti-oxidant, anti-inflammatory, anti-allergic, and more.
“Olive oil is more important as medicine than it as a food… We are what we eat”, says Joaquim.
He calls the Acushla olive oil a “superfood” and highlights the benefits of a Mediterranean diet, where olive oil is a crucial player.
Along with health, sustainability is the central pillar of the world of Acushla. This olive oil is a “friend to the environment.” “The whole of the exploration of the olive tree is sustainable. We have photo-voltaic panels, and 70% to 80% of our energy is sustainable”, explains Joaquim.
The growth of the olive trees that produce Acushla respects the principles of organic production established by European and American legislation.
Chemical synthesis products are prohibited, and the maintenance of the fertilization of the soils is conducted sustainably to reduce environmental impact.
At Fabrica do Azeite, sustainability as a concept is put on display. The world of olive oil and fashion collide here with a shared principle – the circular economy.
A section of the store is dedicated to selling sustainable clothing made of 100% organic cotton and free of any synthetic and chemical compounds.
Combining these two industries is not a new feat for Joaquim Moreira. At 19, he began working in the textile industry. By the age of 30, Joaquim opened Tetriberica, a textile company that works with some of the most renowned international brands.
In operation to this day, 75% of the materials used by the textile company are sustainable, and 35% of the energy is renewable.
Fabrica do Azeite also offers an extensive selection of bioproducts, from various olive oils, canned goods, jams, nuts, salt, teas, chocolates, charcuterie boards, and more. Guests can sample a multitude of regional flavors that pay homage to the production of olive oil on a large farmhouse-style table with green plants.
Joaquim recommends trying the Acushla olive oil, the excellent jams, the high-quality ham, and the wine sold in partnership with Rui Madeira.
Along with excellent regional products, tourists have been walking through the shop’s doors to witness a recently introduced innovative feature. Fabrica do Azeite is home to an impressive olive oil press known as a lagar in Portuguese. Joaquim says it allows visitors to visualize the production of olive oil as “many do not know how it’s made.”
Fabrica do Azeite also hosts a workshop called “The World of Olive Oil” to celebrate olive oil as “one of the greatest riches that the earth can give us.” The workshop teaches guests how to spot the best olive oils to make sustainable and health-conscious choices.
The workshop goes through the whole production process, including how olives are grown, harvested, crushed, and then packed into the olive oils you see at a store. It also includes an olive oil tasting that heightens the five senses, allowing guests to explore the variety of flavors and aromas.