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The Next Big Thing: Mary’s Brigadeiro

January 20, 2016

Although it may seem cliche to say that entrepreneurs are single minded and passionate, time and again, our experience at Food Starter is that this description is true!  Take Mary Oliveira, owner of the luxury chocolate company Mary’s Brigadeiro for example.  When you ask her about a typical work day she replies: “We have all experienced a time where we have been so wrapped up in something that a few minutes turn into hours, and those hours turn into…  Holy crap! I forgot to have lunch or dinner…” says Mary “I usually forget to eat when I am producing my chocolates.” 

Mary's Brigadeiro Personal Picture

Her passion and dedication show in every piece – these are some beautifully gram-worthy chocolate treatsBrigadeiro are similar to truffles in that they are round and chocolate-y but different in that they are lighter and creamier. Mary packages her confections in simple, elegant packaging that present these handmade treats invitingly.

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In the Kitchen:  

Mary’s mother is a long time sweets maker; however Mary personally didn’t discover her own confectionery talent until a few years ago when she worked on a friend’s wedding project. Since that day she has catered more weddings, coordinated lots of corporate gifts and added a sweet note to countless lunches, and parties by supplying brigadeiros. 

On the Market:  

Mary has been testing the Canadian market for the past 6 months. She has learned to be more resilient as she faces adversity in the business world. “I decided to change my life when I moved from Brazil to Toronto; I needed to overcome much to deal with a number of challenges.” she says “I was also missing my family, and the comfort zone of my home country, so it hasn’t always been easy.”

Joining Food starter has allowed Mary  to jump start her efforts and increase her production while learning practical skills that will help her to run a food business. Graduates of the Food Commercialization Program can utilize Food Starter’s facilities, including the production and packaging areas, as well as business advisory services, for up to 12 additional months after they complete the three stage program.

This may be only the first of many business ventures for Mary. “I will open more small businesses!” she says with confidence. Like most of our Food Starter clients Mary is developing skills that will she can carry with her throughout her career, wherever that may take her. 

“At this moment my focus is on my brigadero business” she says. “However, we are also studying every single step about how can we introduce something new and integrate it as part of an another culture. I have two more projects in mind to work on in the future.” These ideas are based on her personal experiences as an entrepreneur as well on feed back she’s received from others as she’s introduced brigadeiros to Canada. Interestingly, her other ideas are not wholly food focused:

1. Creating a global platform to connect people that want to share their own experiences with their business. — Seems she has been inspired by the master mind element of the Food Starter program and wants to take it global!

2. Creating a clothing line for women entrepreneurs.

 

Q & A with Mary:  

Mary is full of insightful ideas and has gained the knowledge and skills she needs to continue to thrive in business. Another factor contributing to her success is at the core of her personal beliefs. “LOVE” she says “If you have love in your business, you can do anything!”

What does success look like to you?

Success for me is the chance to bring happiness and to inspire a smile when the people receive my chocolates and experience the pleasure of a unique chocolate treat! Always, I focus in what my clients want and need.”

A favourite quote of yours?

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Name one thing you would change about the world?

“Indifference – If people take care of each other, respect others and try to be empathetic, the world can be so much better! Routinely people show indifference with the things happening around the world. They don’t care, or think to themselves ‘It’s not my problem!’… Yes it is! These problems are part of all of our lives and we are all connected. If we stop to consider … maybe we can do something to help!”

What is the last kind thing you did for someone else?

 “A woman who recently had major heart surgery approached me wanting to do something to thank the team at the hospital who had helped her in her time of need. She reached out to me because she really wanted to give to them something special. She adored my chocolates, however because she couldn’t afford to purchase them (and I completely understood the situation) I decided to give them to her free of charge.”

 

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(Another favourite quote of Mary’s)

 

Connect with Mary 

Check back with us in the coming months for updates about Mary’s delicious treats!

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