Dadinha Carvalho has opened her own cafe in Newcastle after receiving support from the North East BIC to realise her ambitions of creating an authentic Portguese eatery.
Jane Imrie

Entrepreneur brings taste of Portugal to Newcastle with North East BIC support

A Portuguese-born entrepreneur has taken the plunge and launched her own business in a bid to bring the taste of her homeland to the region.

Dadinha Carvalho has opened her own cafe in Newcastle after receiving support from the North East Business and Innovation Centre (BIC) to realise her ambitions of creating an authentic Portuguese eatery.

Dadinha has launched Albufeira Café on Westgate Road, which specialises in authentic Portuguese cuisine such as Pasteis de Nata custard tarts and Bifana pork sandwiches.

Former Nando’s manager Dadinha explained: “I absolutely loved my work in restaurant management. I lived and breathed it and I never switched off. I was on holiday when I suddenly asked myself ‘why are you working so hard for someone else when you could be doing this for yourself?’

“I was visiting family in Newcastle when I started to seriously consider the idea of a Portuguese café because there aren’t any in the city. I started looking for possible locations and approached the BIC for help because although I had the work experience, the drive and ambition I didn’t know where to start when it came to running a business.”

Dadinha attended workshops and a series of meetings with business adviser Margaret Cook, who guided her through the planning process.

Dadinha continued: “I could not be happier or more grateful for the support I’ve had from Margaret. She was like an angel sent down from the sky! She was so much more than a business adviser. She was a friend, a guide and a motivator.”

North East BIC advisor Margaret added: “It’s always incredibly satisfying to help people make the step into self-employment, especially when they have the ideas and enthusiasm of Dadinha.

“With a little bit of guidance, some new tools and valuable connections, she is now on the path to a rewarding new chapter of her life – as a business owner.

“I cannot wait to pop in to Albufeira to have a celebratory cup of coffee and custard tart with Dadinha and the BIC will continue to offer our support as she grows and expands her business.”

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