A special coffee to the world
Entrepreneur from the state of Espírito Santo developed a coffee recipe that is a success in Brazil. The goal, starting next year, is to sell the Café Caramello to other countries.
São Paulo – It was almost by chance that business owner Cristina Tongo, from Vitória, Espírito Santo state, created a recipe of a coffee that ended up being a hit in her hometown, in state, reached other cities in Brazil and starting in Q2 next year will arrive in its first destination abroad: Miami.
Cristina was the owner of a company that organized parties and social events in Vitória. One time, at the end of an event for women, she asked to one of them to present a recipe so the others could try at home. It was a drink that tasted similar to a cappuccino.
“I tried, but it didn’t work. I missed the right time, it turned out sweet. I always liked coffee and tried to improve that drink. I made then a very strong and good coffee, very creamy”, recalls the business owner about the recipe that calls for coffee, water, sugar and cinnamon and is usually served with warm milk. “You can drink straight but ideally it goes with milk”, she says.
During six months in 2012, she started to distribute the product and the formula in her events. People would advise her to sell it, an idea she couldn’t wrap her head around. “But at the end of that year, my husband lost a large contract in the company and we needed money. I decided to sell it. I sold 105 jars in 20 days. Later, I started to sell it in the events. I realized I had something good in my hands”. It was born, then, the Café Caramello.
In the middle of 2013, the business owner started to go professional. She took courses offered by the Brazilian Micro and Small Business Support Service (Sebrae) and studied the franchise business at the same time her company expanded. The first plant couldn’t handle the demand anymore. In the beginning of the month, she rented a shed in the town of Serra, close to Vitória.
Besides meeting the demand of the 28 franchises spread out across São Paulo, Minas Gerais, Espírito Santo, Rio de Janeiro, Distrito Federal, Goiás and Paraíba, the expansion of the business will be able to produce for the 50 franchises that the company should have in December 2016 and for the international project. The latter was developed because in January, summer in Brazil, sales tend to drop. “Because it is winter in the countries I plan to export, it’s a way to keep sales up abroad when it drop in here”, she says. She sells the product in three types of containers: 300 ml, 800 ml and 3.5 liters and with rum, mint and paçoca flavors, among others.
The business owner is internationalizing the company, translating labels and submitting the product to lab tests. The expectation, she says, is to ship the first load of Café Caramello in Q2 of next year to Miami. Texas, a franchise in Germany, another in China, in addition to Italy and France are being planned by the company. Cristina said that she wants to export to the Arab countries, but will look for more information about the markets.
*Translated by Sérgio Kakitani