A mutual friend introduced José Avillez to John Bergman, co-founder and CEO of 'WorldClass', a company that sells high quality food products - from several countries - in the United States, thus giving the kick-off to the entry of Portuguese products on this platform.
"With his interest in Portuguese products, (...) John contacted me and I started to help him choose Portuguese products and identify people who could help him", said José Avillez.
According to the Portuguese chef, the project is still in its infancy, but the main criterion for the entry of products into this universe is "quality and the ability to be exported".
At the moment, products from Portugal, Argentina, Chile and Uruguay are represented on the 'WorldClass' website, and Portuguese items include two cheeses (São Miguel and Famoso) and octopus, which is the most sought after, according to Avillez.
"These products [represented on the website] are included in some of my recommendations, but the idea is, within what is possible to export to the United States, to be able to take seafood, salt, tea, more cheeses, among others", he explained.
In an introduction to customers, 'WorldClass' describes Portugal as a country "resting on the coast of the Atlantic Ocean, which is home to some of the best harvesting areas in the world", adding that "Portugal's water, land and resilient producers are well known for their cleanliness, sustainability and amazing products".
At this stage of the project, the final customers are restaurants and gourmet stores, and the products are transported in cold or frozen form.