- Tell us something about your background and experiences…
My name is Manuel Pastor and I am 50 years old and i am the owner of a family-run, independent local shop in the Barrio del Carmen called ‘Frutos Secos del Carmen’, which is a dried fruit shop in the old town. My childhood and adolescence occurred in the streets of the historic centre, where I grew up. From a young age I helped my parents in the shop.
- Can you tell us about the history of the shop?
My parents opened the dried fruit shop in 1975. At that time the Barrio del Carmen was a humble, working-class barrio with plenty of small businesses like ours. During the 1980s the barrio started to get degraded and i remember drugs being dealt, an increasing amount of thefts and a lost generation of youth. After that, there began an era of squatting…
Despite all of this the barrio has been renewed and improved itself greatly and it is now an excellent place to live, there is no noise problem and the local bars and restaurants are all licensed and respect the hours. The centre is well connected and you can reach it easily from different parts of Valencia. If, one day, they finish the T2 metro line with a proposed stop in the very heart of the old centre… then it will truly be a great barrio.
- What is a typical day in the shop?
A typical day in the shop is getting the tienda ready for the opening hours of 9am for clients and suppliers. If it’s a busy día, the day flies by and you close at 14h to then re-open from 17h to 20.30h. It’s an enjoyable job in that you get to meet so many people and different types of clients.
- What is the Valencia character?
The Valencian character is clearly influenced by the local climate and geography. We are an open, tolerant and optimistic people. We like to enjoy life with our friends and family. We have a wonderful light and beautiful women. What more do we need?
- How do you see Valencia as a place to live?
Valencia is just the right size to be a great city rather than a sprawling, urban monstrosity. The climate is mild and communications are good. This, along with its character, makes it an ideal place to live.
- Have we seen the end of the crisis in Valencia?
The end of the crisis will come when people start to think of the common good of others. While we only think about accumulating material possessions we will never be happy. We have to change our way of thinking and acting.
- Could you tell us about your products?
Dried fruits have many healthy properties and help maintain good cholesterol. They are rich in antioxidants, vitamins, magnesium, fibre, calcium, iron and help fight the free radicals associated with the ageing process. They are a source of energy and form a traditional part of the Mediterranean diet.
At ‘Frutos Secos del Carmen’ we have a variety of almonds like ‘Marcona’ of the highest quality with raw, roasted and toasted choices. We have excellent ‘Macadamia’ nuts with both fried and raw choices as well as Spanish ‘Nogal’ nuts and ‘Pacana’. You can also find Turkish pistachios and ‘Giant U.S.A.’ pistachios. We have organic ‘Rey Solomon’ dates, ‘Malaga Moscatel 7 Coronas’ raisins, which is the best raisin grape in the world. You can enjoy superb ‘Orejónes’(strips) of dried peaches, Brazil nuts, pumpkin seeds and more. We have the best choice of products combined with homemade choices too. We have been serving our clients for 40 years.
Frutos Secos del Carmen
C/ Alta, 20
Open 0.900h- 14h / 17h-20.30h from Monday to Friday / Saturday 09.00h-14h.
‘Frutos Secos del Carmen’ has been making homemade dried fruits since 1975 and always with the highest quality and variety. We have four decades of experience in preparation of our products and always with expert attention. We have Facebook, Google +, Twitter and from December 2015 we will have a new website: http://frutossecosdelcarmen.es
Interview by Will McCarthy
24/7 Valencia magazine