The first ever Portuguese factory of soaps and perfumes was founded in 1887 in Oporto by Ferdinand Claus and Georges Ph. Schweder, two Germans living in Portugal. By that time, this sort of products were imported and considered a privilege of the wealthiest classes.
In 1903, Schweder left due to health problems and was replaced by Achilles Alves de Brito as the company’s manager, while Willy Thessen – a graduated perfumery chemist – became responsible for the Technical Department. The business grew under the new owners, as soap was becoming more and more popular.
The Germany entrance on the World War I, forced the escape of the two German partners in 1918 and the closing of Claus & Schweder. Achilles de Brito, the Portuguese partner, along with his brother Afonso, created a new company, the ACH. BRITO & CO. Lda. However, Achilles de Brito decided to maintain the Claus Porto brand and, for years, both brands coexisted as umbrella brands, covering a set of product brands. The new company became known for its quality and innovation, particularly in packaging.
Throughout the forties and fifties Ach. Brito conquered the leadership of the domestic market. The company produced for the internal market, especially for the Portuguese colonies, and exported to England and United States of America. From early on, one of Ach. Brito’s main concerns was to have faithful costumers, which led to large investments in the aroma, texture and price of its products. In 1953, the company even created its own lithography, where labels were hand-painted.
Today, Claus Porto carries on the tradition of high-quality, all-natural soap making.