Here in Algorfa we are so lucky to have a good choice of shops and shopping centres within a few minutes drive. While we don’t actually have a large supermarket in the town – the nearest is Mercadona in Almoradi – we are fortunate to have a selection of stores where we can shop for the weekend to avoid the queues at the checkouts in the larger supermarkets or pick up whatever we forgot on the ‘big shop.’ And we always manage to forget something!
Yes, you’re going to pay a little more for shopping locally, but you’re helping to keep local businesses going, and that’s priceless. And if you stop and think logically, so what if you pay 20 cents more for your milk or your favourite beer brand sets you back another Euro on a 12 pack? Could you drive to Almoradi or Quesada and back for that price? Of course you couldn’t, then there’s wear and tear on the car, and time spent in traffic and queueing that could be better spent relaxing in the pool! And who manages to get in and out of a big supermarket with just a litre of milk or a 12 pack of beer? Not me, and probably not you either!
It saddened me recently to hear someone say they won’t shop locally because it’s too expensive and there’s not enough choice. The small shopkeeper doesn’t have the buying power of the big supermarkets or the space and fluidity of funds to carry 6 different types of digestive biscuit, but they are there for you when you need them most. So please, if you hear such negativity about convenience stores or indeed any small independent business, don’t agree with it, even if you don’t feel comfortable defending the shop owner’s position.
In Algorfa, we have four convenience stores, plus a Chinese Bazaar that offers a limited selection of non-perishable staples as well as freshly baked bread, so every taste is well catered for. At the time of writing, a small convenience store has just opened on Lo Crispin and another food shop/cafe is opening this weekend. I’ll feature these in a separate article very soon, so watch this space! Please check directly with the stores for current opening times as these may vary.
Located on Calle Mayor, next to Jilly’s Bar, Alldays changed hands recently, and new owner Michelle has some great ideas for services for local residents and holidaymakers. For anyone arriving outside opening hours, Michelle provides a Pay and Collect service. Phone in your order, pay by card and then collect your shopping from either Jilly’s Bar or Top End Bar at a time to suit you. If that isn’t the best excuse ever to sit with a cool drink to welcome you back to Algorfa, I don’t know what is!
As well as providing a good selection of basic groceries and things you may miss from the UK such as sweets, pies and sausage rolls, Michelle liaises with local crafters, businesses and services to offer a selection of gift ideas, souvenirs and home essentials at excellent prices. So if you’re stuck for a gift for Aunt Elsie, you can probably find something suitable in Alldays, along with newspapers, books, magazines and greetings cards. You’ll marvel at just how much variety is in the shop, yet it doesn’t look in the least cluttered. It’s clean, light and airy with plenty of space to move around as you make your purchases.
Alldays is also the place to order your Avon products, pick up a cheap Lobster mobile phone contract and get your printing done. Just call in and speak to Michelle – she’s always happy to help. Alldays also opens on Sundays.
The newest food shop in Algorfa opened on 2 September. There’s been an onsite bakery at Hotel Algorfa for almost a year now, but the premises has now been fitted out as a bakery and convenience store. Since Johnson’s closed on La Finca Commercial Centre, there’s been nowhere for the residents of La Finca and Montemar to go for last minute items or fresh breakfast goods. That’s now changed as the Truscott family have delivered on their promise to provide a convenience store for local residents. It’s taken longer than they intended due to Spanish bureaucracy and August holidays at the shopfitters, but the new, modern store is a welcome addition to the facilities for the area, and the opening hours are extensive, so if you arrive at your property early or late you’ll be able to stock on the essentials.
At the time of writing, the store is not yet fully stocked, but new items are coming in every day. If there’s something you’d like to see in there, have a word with the management and if it’s possible and practical, they’ll get it in. That’s real personal service for you!
A distinctive presence in Algorfa for many years now, you can find Spanish butchers Carniceria Domar at the bottom of Calle Camino San Miguel, near the dentist opposite Meson Algorfa. The shop also stocks a range of groceries and drinks and snacks, but is mostly – and justly – famed for its fabulous selection of prime cuts and home made burgers, kebabs and marinated meat products.
If you’re planning a barbecue, you’ll get everything you need here and the quality is exceptional. Once you’ve tried their burgers, you won’t want to go back to the supermarket version. Be careful if you’re ordering in Spanish though, and don’t confuse you’re pollo with your polla. Pollo is chicken, and polla is – a slang word for a distinctly male part of the anatomy. Many people have made that mistake – to the hilarity of the waiting customers!
Tucked away on the corner of Calle Azorin. just down from Deb’s Pizzeria on Calle Jose Antonio Fernandez Ñiguez, El Bancal is one of Algorfa’s ‘surprise’ stores. It doesn’t look much from outside, but once you cross the threshold, it’s surprising how many good things are available. As well as the expected fruit and vegetables, there’s a good selection of herbs and spices, drinks and snacks and non-perishable staple grocery items. Service comes with a big smile, yet the prices are small! Cheaper than most supermarkets, in fact, so if you run out of tomatoes for your morning tostada, you know where to go.
Located on Calle La Huerta, which runs up past the Vega Fibra shop from Avenida Maria del Mar Rodriguez and the Ayuntamiento, Higuez Tienda is a small Spanish owned convenience store with a butchery counter, fruit and vegetables section, freezer and chilled goods and a basic range of non-perishable groceries and cleaning aids.
The shop has no Facebook presence, and as with most Spanish stores, it closes for siesta and is only open until 2.00 pm on Saturdays. It’s a typical Spanish shopping experience, so don’t expect to be straight in and out, unless it’s empty! You’ll need to wait until the chat between customers and staff is over. Higuez and Domar are aware of that, and provide chairs to take the weight off your feet!
Algorfa’s Chinese bazaar is located opposite the Cecilia Apartments, at the edge of the town on Avenida Maria del Mar Rodriguez. Like most Chinese bazaars, you can buy pretty much anything in there – DIY items, gardening products, shoes, stationery, pet items, toiletries, the list goes on. However, this store has something else, a selection of chilled drinks and non-perishable groceries, as well as freshly baked baguettes. They are also open quite late most evenings.
As you can see, there is no shortage of food shopping in Algorfa, and between the stores, most tastes and requirements are covered. In these challenging economic times, we need to support our local traders or we will lose them, and who knows when they will be replaced, if at all? So please, if you can, pop in, say hello and buy something to make our shopkeepers smile, and share this feature with your Algorfa friends.