Boucherie & Epicerie Soares & Fils
By YP Contributor

Plateau Mont-Royal's Portuguese Resource

An inextricable part of Plateau life since 1970, Duluth Avenue’s Boucherie et épicerie Soares & fils was opened by Julio Soares and passed down the generations ever since. “When my grandfather and his family arrived in Montreal, there still weren’t that many Portuguese immigrants in the neighbourhood. But as the community grew and settled on the Plateau Mont-Royal, so did the need for products from the Old Country. That’s when he decided to open Soares & fils,” explains granddaughter Fatima Soares Mesquita, who now runs the shop with her sister Manuela Soares Mesquita.

The beloved neighbourhood grocer-butcher shop quickly came to employ much of the family. “My aunts, my grandmother, as well as my parents all worked here at one point. It was the latter my parents Manuel Mesquita and Julia Soares who took the reins from my grandfather when he retired," says Fatima; "I grew up here, spending many hours here during my childhood and teenage years. It’s really the kind of place where the Portuguese community could find the products they loved from back home that were hard to find here. Nowadays, our clientele is more diverse, since the community is scattered all over town. But on the weekends, they still make the trek out to see us!”

It makes us all proud to still be kickin’ after all these years, to be part of the neighbourhood’s history. The Portuguese community shaped the Plateau Mont-Royal, and we contributed to that in our own way. - Fatima Soares Mesquita, co-owner
Sundry groceries, meat counter, Portuguese specialties, chouriço

Five-Star Chouriço

In addition to the convenience of the usual sundries and staples, Soares & fils’ aisles are bursting with numerous Portuguese specialties, some of which are hard to find elsewhere on the Island.

“Our meats counter is manned by three butchers, and we offer every possible cut," Fatima explains. "We only source the finest-quality meats and nothing is pre-packaged, so our customers always leave with what they want, in the right quantity, and as fresh as possible.”

The word on the street is that Soares & fils’ chouriço is the best in town. “It’s one of our best sellers, and in fact, you can find it on the menu of many of Montreal’s higher-end restaurants. We make it in-house, and the recipe hasn’t changed since 1970,” Fatima adds.

Sundry groceries, meat counter, Portuguese specialties, chouriço

Falling in Step with Changing Times

While Soares & fils has its roots in tradition and family, they still make a point of adapting to changing tastes. “We carry more and more organic products; you have to change with the times, give the customer what they want," Fatima explains. “It makes us all proud to still be kickin’ after all these years, to be part of the neighbourhood’s history. The Portuguese community shaped the Plateau Mont-Royal, and we contributed to that in our own way. It’s a rare thing and a privilege for a small business to be such an integral part of an area’s history.”

Sundry groceries, meat counter, Portuguese specialties, chouriço
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