Portugal Imports was founded as a wholesale business in 1972 by the husband and wife team of Manuel and Leonor Cardoso. Leonor came from a large family, her father was a carpenter and had several shops in Fatima, Portugal. The shops were run by the children and Leonor began helping her older siblings in the shops as a young child. By the time she was a teenager she was managing one of the family’s souvenir shops.
Manuel grew up about 40km from Fatima, in Calvaria. He began working in a souvenir shop in Fatima when he was 12. Although he was still a child, he would travel the winding road to and from work every morning and every night on his scooter. Manuel always had dreams of going overseas and making it big. Manuel met Leonor while they both worked in the touristy town of Fatima. Manuel immigrated to Canada from Portugal in 1964, and continued a long distance relationship with Leonor. They married in Portugal in January of 1972, and Leonor joined her husband in Canada shortly after. They began their wholesale business and received their first shipment in September of 1972. In the basement of their home in London, Ontario they imported gift items, kitchen items and religious articles all made in Portugal. At that time there was no one bringing in these unique products from Portugal and when Manuel attended his first gift show, it was a huge success and he was able to move into a small rented warehouse. From there the company grew and grew. In 1988 Portugal Imports split into two companies: Portugal Imports remained focused on giftware, kitchenware and religious products and ABC Cork was born and focused on wine making supplies for the home brew market.
Manuel and Leonor had two children, Daniel and Monica both grew up working in the family businesses and now help run the businesses. In February of 2021 Manuel passed on and now Daniel runs ABC Cork with his wife Jacklyn. ABC is a leader in the wholesale home brew market and imports foods from Portugal. Leonor and Monica run Portugal Imports, which has become a reputable wholesaler across Canada. It has grown to include a large variety of products from around the world, but still focuses on handcrafted and hand painted products from Portugal. These products include giftware, home décor, roosters, kitchenware, food, tabletop, garden accessories, religious and inspirational products. Portugal Imports religious division offers a wide ranging line of religious and inspirational products for both the Catholic and Christian markets. They have become the Canadian distributor for many US-based religious wholesalers including Catholic Book Publishing, Malhame, Greetings of Faith, H.J. Sherman, Devon Trading, Gannon’s, and C.A Gift/Abbey Gift.
Portugal Imports is always looking for new and unique pieces to add to their product line and will continue to maintain close relationships with their suppliers which includes small manufacturers and craftsmen in Portugal. Portugal Imports plans to expand their online presence to share their products with all of Canada, and eventually the world. Monica’s daughter, Carolina, loves to help mom and grandma shop for new products and enjoys working at the trade shows and in the office. Carolina adds a youthful and modern take on the product collections, and hopefully will join the family business when she graduates from University in a few years.
Customer Service, Order Desk & Accounts Receivable
General Manager & Purchasing
Warehouse Manager & Boss Lady
Order Pickers & Shipping
Ana Melo and Sandra Paiva
Greater Toronto Area, Niagara Region & Eastern Ontario
Western Canada (MB, AB, SK and BC)
Quebec – Montreal Est, Rive Sud and Sud Est
Quebec – Laurentian Area, West Island and Central Montreal
Quebec – Religious only
July & August
Monday - Friday 10am - 4pm
Saturday 10am - 1pm