Eduardo Loureiro’s Fábrica de Cavacas was created to produce the famous Cavacas das Caldas (traditional sweets). Eduardo Loureiro learned from his in-laws the art of producing these traditional cakes and ended up creating his own confectionery company, specialized in the regional sweets of Caldas da Rainha: besides the Cavacas das Caldas, there are still Beijinhos das Caldas, the suspiros (merengue) and the trouxas de ovos (bundles of eggs).
It started out as a family business that sold exclusively in the city’s Praça da Fruta (town square) and its Pastelaria Java (pastry shop) in the historic center, having sold 200 kilos of chips per weekend. But the fame of the products gained more and more customers and Eduardo Loureiro began to sell through many of the pastries of the city and soon to also resale in several points of the country.
In 2012 he acquired a neighboring company, the Confeitaria Monte Verde, which produced traditional wafers (waffle cookie) and thus increased the range of products of the company. “In the same year, we launched the company in search of new markets. Initially the nostalgia markets (saudade markets) already well known, such as France, England, Germany, Switzerland and also began to work with the large distribution – central purchasing”, says the entrepreneur on the company’s website.
In 2016 an important step was taken regarding the growth of the company and in the increase of production of their brands: the construction of new facilities on a plot of land acquired in the Casal de Santa Cecília Industrial Zone in Salir de Matos, Caldas da Rainha. Founded on May 15, 2018, the new facilities represented an investment of around one million euros and concentrate the two companies – Fábrica de Cavacas das Caldas and Confeitaria Monte Verde – in a single space and allow “an annual reduction of 15 % of operating costs and, at the same time, a 20% increase in the quantities produced “, says a report published last December on the site Extra Vida Expresso.
In the same publication, Bruno Pinelas, the commercial manager of the company, explains that in 2012, with the acquisition of Confeitaria Monteverde, wafers represented 90% of the pastry production, but it was necessary to make this product into a premium segment item. To this end, the brand ‘Avó Elvira’ was created, naming the traditional vanilla wafers. “These are the waffers that used to be bought in the grocery stores and this reminds us of childhood memories”, he told the website ‘Vida Extra Expresso’.
New brand for export
Bruno Pinelas also reveals that of the 1.5 million euros of annual turnover, 20% corresponds to exports, their target markets being those with Portuguese emigrants. And the export business dictated the creation of a new product, a new recipe for “Cavacas”, since the traditional one only gives two months of validity to this product. Eduardo Loureiro explained to ‘Vida Extra Expresso’ that importers only work with goods that are valid for more than six months, and “Cavacas das Caldas” have two months of validity. To fill this ‘gap’ they have created the “Cavacas Meringue”: the same wafer, but with a meringue syrup that offers six months of validity.
The company has already won several awards throughout more than two decades of activity. As for growth, Eduardo Loureiro attaches high importance to their work. “Work well, with a good product, so as not to let customers down. Because “Cavacas das Caldas” are, above all, a product that represents the county”, he told ‘Vida Extra Expresso’.