Claus Porto / Ach Brito

These are not handmade products but their design is absolutely fabulous. These soaps are produced in Porto, Portugal, since 1887.

These are fine collection soaps ...

... and these are the kind you get at your local supermarket. All marvellous!!!

"History of a Portuguese Industry
XIX Century

1887 - Foundation
The first ever Portuguese factory of soaps and perfums was founded in Oporto by Ferdinand Claus and Georges Ph. Schweder, two Germans living in Portugal. By that time, this sort of products were imported and considered a privilege of the wealthiest classes, since the large majority of the Portuguese population didn’t have neither conditions nor hygiene care. The company’s brand was F.P.C. – the initials from “Fábrica de Produtos Chimicos CLAUS & SCHWEDER, SUCRS” – and the products were given foreign names, in order to make them more attractive to the Portuguese population.

XX Century
1903 – Expansion
Schweder (who was forced to leave due to health problems) was replaced by Achilles Alves de Brito as the company’s manager, while Willy Thessen – a graduated perfumery chemist – became responsible for the Technical Department. The business grew under the new owners, as soap was becoming more and more popular.
1918 – The birth of Ach. Brito
The Germany entrance on the World War I, forced the escape of the two German partners and the closing of Claus & Schweder. Achilles de Brito, the Portuguese partner, along with his brother Afonso, created a new company who occupies the space of F.C.P., the ACH. BRITO & CO. Lda. Later they had buy the broke mass of Claus & Schweder. However, Achilles de Brito decided to maintain the Claus Porto brand and, for years, both brands coexisted as umbrella brands, covering a set of product brands. The new company became known for its quality and innovation, particularly as far as the packaging was concerned.
1940/50 – National market leadership
Ach. Brito went on to conquering leadership of the domestic market. The company produced for the internal market, especially for the Portuguese colonies, and exported to England and United States of America. From early on, one of Ach. Brito’s main concerns was to have faithful costumers, which led to large investments in the aroma, texture and price of its products. In 1953, the company even created its own lithography, where labels were hand-painted. In the eighties, however, the loss of the African colonies, the fierce competition of multinationals, as well as modern distribution took its toll on the business, which went through a series of hardships.
The 90’s – Bathroom Chiq
Ach. Brito was able to keep up with the changes of an increasingly agressive and competive market, while adapting to the consumer’s needs evolution. Currently, it is present in hipermarket and supermarket chains, cash & carries, as well as the traditional commerce (including the pharmacy channel).
In 1994, together with the American company Lafco, Ach. Brito started developing a line of gift products, which have been commercialized with increasing success in the United States of America, Canada and England, under the Claus Porto brand. The partnership with the american company Lafco in the 90’s, when the company was experiencing difficulties in surpassing the competition of multinationals and hypermarkets, gave the company a new life.
Claus Porto is used to brand the high-quality products aimed at the foreign market, while the institutional brand Ach. Brito is used to bond the mass market brands commercialized in the domestic market. Claus Porto develops high-quality products, produced in an old fashioned way, almost entirely by hand.
Rather then simply offering soaps or hygiene products, Claus Porto creates true works of art, whose exclusive Art Déco design and packaging evoke the company’s historical legacy, unquestionably its major strength.
At the beginning of 2007 the company made a new bet, moved to modern facilities with a covered area of 3.900m2 implanted in a private field of 10.000m2.
The company’s following challenge is to impart vigour to Ach.Brito so that it becomes a feasible alternative to the brands that dominate the national mass market."

2 comentários:

Erin disse...

That soap looks like you could eat it!

Vanda Sousa disse...

If you haven't visited their site yet, do take a look! They have absolutely wonderful products and you can buy them online!

Thanks for your comment ;)