A healthier lifestyle is a growing concern for consumers, something that starts with the food we eat. However, nowadays it is difficult to know if what we are eating is really healthy.

To respond to the needs of the population Convent'Bio was born in Lagoa by the hands of the agronomist and local entrepreneur José Pina, who spoke with us around the table in the old Convent of Carmelitas Calçados d’ Alagoa, which is now home to a restaurant.

"I'm from Lagoa and I have a farming background. I'm an agronomist engineer and I have a company that supplies products and equipment for agriculture and recently, four or five years ago, I decided to run this organic farming project here at Convent'Bio. Some of the things we are going to eat are produced here", he said before we started the meal.

Credits: TPN; Author: Paula Martins;

Organic local restaurant

The starters consisted of butter, cheese, olives and small quail eggs, something I had never eaten before but which tastes like normal chicken eggs. Not to mention the tasty homemade bread produced at Convent'Bio.

"We have three hectares, but two hectares are occupied with organic asparagus, which is the main organic crop. Then we have a little garden with almost 1 hectare which is the vegetable garden where we produce some of the things we have here. Right now we have strawberries, beans, lettuce, cherry tomatoes, we have parsley, and coriander”, he said.

Credits: TPN; Author: Paula Martins;

Indeed, the asparagus are delicious. My main course was a vegan meal with chickpeas, courgette, rocket, curry rice and the delicious asparagus. All this was done with great attention to detail from the preparation to the perfect mix of flavours.

However, the dishes are never the same. Every day they have two dishes of the day, one vegetarian and another with meat or fish. The day I had lunch, the other option was salmon with vegetables. I really liked this because sometimes vegetarians and non-vegetarians have a hard time finding a place to have a meal together. At Convent'Bio, different diets are not an excuse for friends not to have lunch together.

And all this is prepared with organic food. According to José Pina, they are certified and cannot serve anything that is not organic, so if they don't have it in their garden, they buy it from other organic farmers – their motto is “from our garden to your table”.

In this sense, Convent'Bio is not only a convent that has been transformed into a restaurant. The space also has an organic supermarket where people can go to buy groceries and vegetables. The products are 100 percent organic.

Home deliveries

In addition, they do home deliveries with baskets. “It is part of the Convent’Bio project. We make home deliveries with baskets on Wednesdays to Faro and Tavira and on Fridays, we go all the way to Portimão, Lagos and Aljezur.

“When we launched the home deliveries to go to people's homes, it was exactly to help sell our product, so that people could buy through the Internet because people from Tavira or Faro can't come here to buy things, so we go there to take our products to their homes", he added.

For those who want to buy the basket and wait at home in comfort for their organic vegetables, there are two options. You can choose between the standard basket that is always made according to the season, which means that the products to be included in the basket may vary from week to week, or you can customise your purchase and place in the cart the desired products as in any other online purchase.

Credits: TPN; Author: Paula Martins;

These home deliveries were a real success because "we are certified so people have the guarantee that what they are buying is 100 percent organic. Every year we have to renew the certificate and we are evaluated throughout the year. From one moment to the next, an inspection can arrive, but we are happy with it because we know what we are doing”.

"The problem is that sometimes people are not at home when Convent’Bio staff knock their doors with the baskets”.

In order to find a solution to this frequent situation, José Pina created pick-up points in various cities so that baskets can be left there in case clients are not at home at the time of delivery. In addition, customers have the option to select the pick-up point when they are making the purchase. This way, the products are left at the pick-up point and the customer picks them up there as soon as they are available.

Upcoming event

While we were eating a fantastic cocoa mousse for dessert, José Pina told us about an event he is very proud of taking place this weekend, 27th and 28th May, called "Festa da Família Agrária". This consists of a candlelight procession from the Lagoa Church to the Capela do Carmo (at Convento'Bio) on the 27th evening.

Credits: TPN; Author: Paula Martins;

In partnership with the Câmara Municipal de Lagoa, they will bring to life an event that has been lost in time for over 40 years. José told me that he remembers taking part in this event when he was a teenager. Now he would like to revive his roots and offer this event to the community.

José is a man very attached to the traditions of his land and wants to give his contribution. He invites the whole community to participate in this event during the weekend which will include a tasting of traditional flavours at Convent'bio from 3pm on Sunday.

For more information, please visit their website at https://www.conventbio.com/index.php or find them on social media platforms https://www.facebook.com/conventbio


Paula Martins is a fully qualified journalist, who finds writing a means of self-expression. She studied Journalism and Communication at University of Coimbra and recently Law in the Algarve. Press card: 8252

Paula Martins