The Alvará 2176 hides a well-kept secret of the Beira Mar’s “Cagaréus”. In Rua do Gravito’s nº5, a few meters from the School, guarded from the persistent wind, there is a quiet terrace in the purest tradition of Aveiro. Inside the shop, the charming family atmosphere lives up to the sweet aroma of warm bread, made by the experienced hand of David Oliveira, a baker from Vigia, in the parish of Santo André de Vagos.
At the age of twelve, young David was already working in construction, at forty escudos an hour, breaking the secrets of the mason’s building mass, which he would exchange for another, a few years later, in a place at many distant nautical miles. David’s seventeen springs took him to the other side of the Atlantic, to the hot lands of Venezuela, where he wasted no time in getting his hands onto flour to become a baker and make bread.
With his natural skills, at the age of twenty he was already running his own bakery and shortly afterwards a steakhouse. He would return to Portugal in every two years, but it was in 1985 that the crossing of the Atlantic brought him back to a familiar home, among the magnificent Gandarenses’ houses on the banks of the Boco River in a key moment of his life, more precisely on the third Sunday of September, in the celebration parties for Vigia’s Nossa Senhora das Dores (Our Lady of Sorrows).
At the distance, down Capela’s street, he followed the procession with the image of Nossa Senhora wounded in the heart by seven swords. Through the pilgrimage, a childhood friend of David’s, Lurdes, who was also from Viaga was passing by. Old feelings sprang up, and that same day David said in her ear – “Will you marry me?” They both laughed and with a smile on her lips Lurdes gave the answer: “If it is to marry, let us marry, because we don’t know how to date“. So it was and they went already married back to Venezuela, where they began a new chapter from which two beautiful daughters, Lisbete and Mariana, would be born.
Life in Venezuela was hard. Another ten years of struggle went by, between diapers and baby bottles, pasta and ovens, boxes and bags, night and day. David said that there was no place for tables or chairs in the bakery from it being constantly crowded. From dawn, into the night, sacks filled with the most appetizing “padas” and “carcaças” from the region were out in the hundreds.
Finally, in 1995, the Simões family returns to Portugal, wasting no time in creating a new business. Their first establishment was in Vagueira, followed in 2001 by the Pastry shop “Liceu”. Finally, in 2004, the Oliveira family acquired “Pá D’Ouro” which they maintain up to the present day. A space that serves Aveiro’s Beira Mar community and to which they dedicate themselves exclusively.
Hot bread comes out every two hours from Pá D’Ouro’s oven, with the first one being baked at 7 AM. On Wednesdays is the famous’Arepa day served in the chicken, tuna or minced meat varieties. Each day of the week has its soup, properly done and well served, to satisfy the hurried “Cagaréus” at lunch time. But there’s more! The broa, the cakes, the bifanas, the hamburgers…
Flavors, sympathy, friendship, joy and good disposition are always present in a mixture that only those who come to this place can understand, as evidenced by the neighbourhood customers and the most fervent supporters of the most home-like esplanade of Aveiro, well equipped on the sidewalk that crosses the streets of Gravito with Guilherme Gomes Fernandes.