A happy green place to explore in the heart of Lisbon, with this crêpe and juice bar. Yes, you read it well… crêpes and Portugal may fit very well together. Or actually crêpes, Ireland and Portugal may match perfectly, since Portuguese Sofia and Irish Malte launched this refreshing SAMA SAMA concept. One to lick your fingers and walk outside with a smile ; )
We are happy to share with all of you the why and how about the story of this good vibes hotspot !
Q. When and how did SAMA SAMA come to life ?
Sofia: In 2013, on my first visit to Ireland, Malte brought me to “The best crepes in the world” he said, in the Galway market. As I tried it I was amazed by the flavours and I said we have to bring this to Portugal. Nobody over there knows how tasty savoury crêpes can be. So the seed was planted.
In 2014, while we were traveling in Indonesia, including Bali, we said to eachother: if we ever open a business, it would be called “Sama Sama”, meaning “you´re welcome” in Bahasa and the slogan would be “same same but different”. But we were far from thinking that we would be opening a crêpe and juice bar in 2017.
After being living in Galway, Ireland, for almost 3 years, we both wanted to come back to Portugal, mostly because of the weather. So we started creating a concept to have our own business.
The last months in Ireland, Mick from the “Yummy Crêpes” in Galway, taught us how to make crêpes and all the tricks. Without realizing or searching for it, those 3 years and our life experience during that time, have given us a name, a slogan and a main product (savoury crêpes), so we were closer to what is Sama Sama now.
In January 2017 we moved back to Portugal, bringing all our stuff in Malte´s parents van, passing trough Brittany to get our Biligs (crêpe makers). And in February we started the renovation of the place, which was closed for over 10 years, and where Sama Sama is now. On 25th of May, 2017 we officially opened Sama Sama doors.
Q. What is SAMASAMA about ?
Sama Sama is about LOVE! Love for people, love for food, love for the environment, love for the Universe and love for freedom.
Sama Sama wanted to bring a concept, not yet much explored in the food and beverage market in Portugal. With fresh, local and organic products, we offer an alternative to conventional fast food, facilitating everyone, whom by lack of time or opportunity, struggle to combine an active life style with good quality nutritional food.
In our shop we offer fresh fruit and vegetable juices prepared on request, healthy shots, savory and sweet crêpes. The idea to create this space where all products are fresh, locally sourced and organic, has subsequently derived, from a diet and life style change we adopted a few years ago, after realizing that most of illnesses and deaths are related to your diet habits. ”Hungry for change”, ”Food Matters”, ”That Sugar film”, “Super juice me” are some of the movies that helped us be more conscious of the physical effects our diets have. We want to give everyone an opportunity to have access to quality food, this may seem a difficult task, considering that what is most accessible in terms of quality or price, are highly processed foods, high in sugar and additives. We aim to provide our customers with real, fresh, flavorsome nutritious food that will bring you happiness and health.
Q. How many people work there?
Sofia: We started with 2 people (Me and Malte) and since then we had Eddie helping us for a while during the summer, and after that Daniela was working with us until the end of the year. So in total there was always maximum of 3 people working at the same time.
Q. What is your typical customer?
Sofia: In Sama Sama we believe that there is space and time for everything and for everyone, and for that same reason, when we opened SAMA SAMA we didn´t want to be cataloged as a place just for vegetarians. We didn´t want to have a label that would push away people, that for various reasons, are not vegetarians. And like this we have been attracting and surprising costumers that have never tried a vegetarian meal before, telling us that with such a tasty food as ours they could definitely consider eating vegetarian.
Also we have learned so much from our costumers. In the beginning we had 3 different types of crêpe dough, a vegetarian, a vegan and a gluten free. Our menu was mainly vegetarian with some vegan options. We got such a big support from the vegan community (Portuguese and tourist) for that same reason we started trying to have more and more vegan options and after a lot of experiments we reached the point where all our dough is vegan (not just because of the demanding also because we have now the tastier dough ever) and with our menu it is now possible to make all the filings for the crêpes in vegan.
We are so grateful with this experience and constant learning, that we are getting from our project Sama Sama.
It´s hard to describe our typical costumer, we have so many different people coming in every day. But usually we have people that are into organic food and that understand how important is to eat fresh food free from Chemicals. We get a lot of vegetarians, vegans. We get people that comes in just because of the name. But we have been lucky with our costumers because almost everyone that we got in our shop were always relaxed and happy people, always supportive and enthusiastic about what we do in SAMA SAMA.
Q. What are your favourite hotspots in Lisbon?
We love chilling out in Ribeira das Naus, lying on the grass and playing games with friends. Watching the sunset in Miradouro de Santa Catarina while listening to some local live bands. When it comes to wining and dining, we like the food in Organi in Baixa-chiado, we adore the whole package in Annapurna in Anjos, or just grabbing a nice craft beer in the new quiosque of 8a Colina in Graca, we also love Vinharia in Cais do sodré where you can enjoy a good selection of wine accompanied with good chats and great service.