At first glance, you would catch her captivating smile, and looking into her eyes, one cannot mistake her energy, exuding happiness and love. Artist and Café owner Margarida A. Moritz, or Guida, has just celebrated the fifth anniversary of her Café By MAM—a place known in Ferrel for its unique air of hospitality and flair for art.

Over the years, the Little Corner Café has become a local hub for artists, musicians and residents, hosting various community activities, including jam sessions, artistic and philosophical discussions, art sales and exhibitions, baby crawls and more.


In Ferrel, MAM is known as a magical place, and it is popular belief that the magic is due to Guida's unique approach to bringing people together. “I think it’s receiving the people and immediately connecting the people,” says Guida, “I always introduce them, and then the people get connected. It´s me, but it’s also the people; they let me give them my energy, and they let me be authentic, and they accept and embrace it, and then they are happy, and that makes me happy.”

Like every unique place, Guida´s place is a reflection not simply of her character but also of her life experiences. A life of wanderlust, a life of passion for art and a life lived by following her heart.

As a young woman working in hospitality and longing for travel, Guida moved to Germany with the man who would become her husband and father of her son. It was there that she started developing as an artist. “When I was in Hamburg, I started to paint with a friend who is a painter. I was painting a lot, and I started doing exhibitions in cafes. And it was interesting because I was selling paintings. I did a lot of exhibitions: in Hamburg, in Berlin, in Venice, it was really cool.” Many years later, Guida followed her heart again and returned to Portugal, this time as a mature artist. “When I came back, I was making exhibitions here also, in Lisbon, in Palacio Foz, and in a café close to the parliament. I made several exhibitions, but never in galleries,” Guida recalls.

Considering her custom of exhibiting art in cafes, it is no wonder that Guida's cafe is, in itself, a gallery- full of detail and tiled with artwork.

Credits: Supplied Image; Author: Yariv Kav ;

Open to ideas

These days, By MAM is flowing with life and art and people, but it was a long road from starting the café to what it has now become. “The beginning was hard,” Guida remembers, “Nobody was coming here. Just once in a while, someone for a coffee. I didn’t have so many artists. We had to make a concept here, and I was like, okay, so we make a gallery to sell local art and crafts, make a bar, and sell secondhand clothes and things. These are the three activities. So we started with handicrafts, and then it also became a place where you can make your birthday or celebrate something. Then we started having meetings of artists once a month; they had a topic, and they talked about different issues, like: Am I an artist? What is art? Femininity and masculinity, etc. Then I had this aperitif at six on Thursdays, and someone brought a guitar to the aperitif and met other musicians here, and then they started coming every Thursday, and so, jam sessions on Thursday started! I’m always open to ideas, you know, for whatever. If people want to use the place, just use it! And, yeah, so it grows and grows and grows.”

Like many areas in Portugal recently, Ferrel has become a cosmopolitan place. Guida, who speaks German, French, Italian, English and Portuguese, was the perfect host for Ferrel’s flourishing community. “Everybody comes here and, when they need something, you know, to open an activity, to get a NIF, to register a car, to get a flat, everybody asks me things, and I help a lot of people. My café is like a point that you can come to for help.”

Credits: Supplied Image; Author: Yariv Kav ;

It's almost impossible not to think of Guida as a mother figure in Ferrel, but this notion makes her laugh; “It is spelt MAM, not MOM,” She giggles. “But, yeah, it’s a little bit like a mama. If you are hungry, you can come. I’ll always find something for you to eat, it’s really like that. That is what I do because it’s the way I like it, it’s me. I love people, I like to host, and the people themselves inspire me so much. Art inspires me; all these artists are so inspiring. And, uh, love inspires me, friendship, smiling inspires me, you know? I can be happy when other people are happy, and I get this energy. I love people. I really love people, yeah.”

By MAM is open Tuesdays to Saturdays from 14:00 to 20:00 and Thursdays till 22:00 for the jam session. But hours are flexible- because sometimes people want to stay longer, and ultimately, for Guida, it´s all about the people.



With a passion for surfing and writing, Yariv Kav moved to Portugal´s wave capital from his native Israel. He was awarded a Bachelor of Laws from the University of Manchester back when Oasis was still cool, and a diploma with distinction from the London School of Journalism in Feature and Freelance Writing. Loves travel, languages and human stories.

Yariv Kav