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How it all started.

Updated: Dec 13, 2022


By coincidence, I started to write this first blog post about our history, on the international book day.

In the eighties my parents moved from England to Portugal. More specifically to Ericeira in the Lisbon metropolitan area. A little shop in town centre was waiting for them to open a snack-bar, wich was named - Lancastrien, in remembrance of the town where they lived. In this small shop they served different kind of sandwiches and cakes, including my mum's Pasteis de Nata. Apparently they were famous because they are still people that remember how they where like. I only remember scraping the leftovers of there delicious cream from the bottom of the pan. I also remember playing with the cups and saucers in shop's sink. Years later my parents changed the business into a newsagents with many international magazines and newspapers. They where so many that we had to use some extra floor space at our cousins barbers shop next door, so we could separate them all up to send back. We had on sale the old Portuguese newspaper O Século and Diário Popular as you can see on one of the photos.

One of the first jobs i had to help out my parents, was to take care of the post cards stand that was outside. A hatch was made in the middle of the shop window to allow selling newspapers and tobacco through it. Sometimes the queue got so long that it nearly reached the town square. So, that gave me another task to do. I had to go up to last people in the queue and tell them that inside the shop there were no costumers. Some of them asked me: "But is that the same shop?". My younger sister who is the little girl sat in front of the shop window in one of the photos, also helped out at the weekends.

An opportunity was presented to move to a larger shop only a few meters away, maintaining the same business. This larger shop was named - Tabacaria Bambi. As i was finishing off my studies, i decided to work with my parents in the new shoe shop they decided to open. The little old Lancastrien newsagents became Sapataria Golfinho - shoe shop. Twenty years later, the building where the shoe shop was located, was sold. After closing down the shoe shop, i worked part-time at Tabacaria Bambi with my parents and in the afternoons i worked at my own photo studio. After the pandemic struck i decided to shutdown the photography business and take hold of a shop that we actually owned, not far from the center. We moved Tabacaria Bambi to this new shop and rebranded with the new name - Doca de Letras. In English it means "Lettered Docks". Like fishing boats go in and out every day, at our shop books and magazines go and come everyday... You get the idea?

So then, i conclude these chapters of our history, that are being "written" everyday that goes by.

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