INTERVIEW WITH THE FOUNDERS OF COLMO BAR IN COMPORTA

CHRISTINA BRAVO & FELIPE BRANCO
The faces behind Colmo Bar and and the vacation rental company Comporta Homepage

Bar owners, luxury holiday home agents, parents of a delightful daughter, and beyond all that involved in social projects: Christina & Felipe, founders of Comporta’s famous Colmo Bar, are the power couple par excellence. Worldly and warm-hearted, enterprising, outgoing and unfailingly helpful. We’ll meet you for a freshly-squeezed juice in their bar.

The Niche Traveller: Tell us about where are you from?
Christina & Felipe: We are from Lisbon and came here 6 years ago.

TNT: What connects you with Comporta?
C&F: Christina has been coming here since 1990 and has a strong link to the place. Felipe was more connected to Melides. A job opportunity arose in 2011 and in 2012 we moved.

TNT: You are doing a lot of different things here in Comporta, tell us about?
C&F: We have an online platform for house rentals called Comporta Homepage that was born in 2012 because we were having many friends looking for houses here for their holidays. It started out as just helping them and evolved to something more professional. We have been working for the last 5 years on it and now work with around 40 houses from Comporta to Melides. We love to do it. We love to host people and help them get the best possible experience of this area. We also have a connection to the local Foundation where we have made some short documentaries about people from the area and Christina also manages the Casa da Cultura a venue that opens in the summer with pop up stores of Portuguese brands and art exhibitions.

TNT: What is the best thing about your job?
C&F: Probably the people we meet and the fact that we can help them have the best experience of the area.

TNT: Who´s behind Colmo Bar and how would you describe the spirit of the place?
C&F: It started in 2015 with Felipe, Christina and Catarina (Christina’s sister). The first step was to understand what was already being made in Comporta and create something different. Then we started to think what do people like in the summer and what does Portugal/Comporta has to offer of great quality: fruits and vegetables. From there we started to develop the concept around fruits (juices, breakfasts..) and, of course, drinks – a must have in every summer bar.
In 2016, Catarina left the bar due to personal reasons and Vasco (Felipe’s brother) joined us. The spirit of Colmo is summer, good vibes, family spirit and fresh produce. We have great care with the products we have and with the people that work with us. And we are constantly there to keep the quality high and the atmosphere family and friendly like.

TNT: What´s your preferred summer drink?
Christina: That’s a hard one! In the morning our Detox 2 and in the afternoon Comporta Mule and Colmo Spritz.

TNT: What does Comporta Style mean? How would you describe it?
C&F: Laid back, respect to nature, local environment and the identity of the place. People compare it to Ibiza and Cap Ferret but to be honest Comporta stands in a place of its own due to the unique characteristics of the landscape and the local culture.

TNT: Where do you go to escape & relax?
C&F: For short escapes we found a place nearby that we love to go. It’s one hour from Comporta and very calm and beautiful area. For bigger escapes, after the summer buzz, we have been going to Menorca for the last summers because we have a small daughter. This year we are hoping to go to Mozambique or São Tomé e Principe. We like wild nature, sea with warm water, not so developed places and low seasons.

TNT: Your favourite place in the area?
C&F: The ocean for sure. We love this ocean although it is a bit chilly. But we love to bath in it and we love the waves. We also like very much Carrasqueira for the authenticity of the place and the people.

TNT: What do you recommend people who are coming to Comporta for the first time?
C&F: Explore all beaches until Melides. Take a boat ride in the Estuary of the river Sado to see the dolphins. Horseback riding,  see the Rice Museum, visit Casa da Cultura. Eat nice fish, fruits and vegetables. Have a drink at Colmo bar!

TNT: What is the hottest place around for summer 2018?
C&F: Colmo Bar of course!

INTERVIEW: Kerstin Bognár
PHOTO: Mia Takahara