The Fresh Loaf

News & Information for Amateur Bakers and Artisan Bread Enthusiasts

Artisan Breads

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drtown's picture
drtown

Artisan Breads

My wife and I are planning to open a coffee and sandwich shop in south Brazil.


Fresh roasted coffee and gourmet sandwiches.  We want to begin offering four


artisan breads, po-boy or hoagie type, where customers can select their


ingredients.  Beside a basic white and a wheat, what are suggestions from


this illustrious group on artisan breads which would be unique.  Thanks!

Postal Grunt's picture
Postal Grunt

Before you get wrapped up in offering exotic or obscure types of bread, find out what your customers really want. My friend opened up a small convienence store/sandwich shop with the idea of offering above average sandwiches and gourmet coffee. He lost a chunk of money because the customers didn't care for multi-grain sourdough breads and other fine breads. They wanted working class whole wheat, thick sliced white bread, and a strong cup of black coffee.


Don't tie up your money in specialized equipment or exotic inventory. Do keep a special bread on the menu to see if you get any response but if you don't, give the customers what they want.

spacey's picture
spacey

I agree with Postal Grunt about knowing your market.  Doing business in Brazil is very tough for all the reasons we gringos don't know about ahead of time - in general, it's impossible to know how exactly business is done there! 


You probably don't want to start out by challenging your clientelle, Brazilians are very quick to call outsiders arrogant and if you are stuck with that label you may not get a lot of local trade.  It's true that the bread there is pretty two-dimensional, being either a light white mini-roll for toasting and buttering, but it's exactly what everyone wants from the padaria in the morning.


That said, what are your ideas for the place?  Will your clients be brazilians or tourists?  Expats or locals?  What do similar businesses in the area do, and what do you perceive as the opportunity?  What time of day will you operate?  You need a different kind of bread to eat with lunch in the centro than you do on the street near the beach, etc.


 

drtown's picture
drtown

Thanks for the advice.  This city is about 80,000, all Brazilians; a lot of Italian and German descent.  There are no recognizable restaurants here. The larger cities have Subways, McDonald's and a few Starbucks in the largest city of Brazil.  Even though the people here eat a steady diet of white bread, very little wheat pruducts; modern even American likes and health food consciousness is slowly appearing.  As for time of day, we would probably start with lunch and expand, in both directions as people show interest.  My wife will be adding a decorations component to the small store.  I agree that I prefer not to go 'overboard' with artisan breads, but something different, yet really good would be a second or third type offered.

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

Which city?  I am from Brazil, so I am quite interested in this thread.


 


Are you living there now?  Are you fluent in Portuguese?

midwest baker's picture
midwest baker

How about the Scali Rolls from the king arthur flour web site?They are well liked.


http://www.kingarthurflour.com/recipes/scali-bread-recipe


http://www.thefreshloaf.com/node/14063/scali-hoagie-rolls

Candango's picture
Candango

From your description, it sounds like you are talking about RG do Sul or Santa Catarina, with the Italian and German descent population.  What about the possibility of trying a rye bread, as an experiment (if you can get rye flour)?  It would certainly be unique, and it might appeal to your customers who have traveled and tried these breads in the US or in Europe.  But as other folks here have mentioned, you have to know your customers, so perhaps introduce it as an experiment without having invested a king's ransom in time or ingredients.  Boa sorte.  Candango

drtown's picture
drtown

Good observation, Cantago.  The state is Santa Catarina.  Rye would be a wonderful addition to a fortified white and wheat.  I will have to check in the larger cities if rye flour is available.  Blessings.

spacey's picture
spacey

Sourdough pancakes are another offering that can be produced if you've got the starter.  Crepe places are pretty common (at least in the northeast), but they're not french-style thin crepes, they're relatively thick and eggy and the flavor of the batter is usually pretty forgettable in my limited experience.


Boa sorte!

drtown's picture
drtown

The city is Sao Bento do Sul.  My wife and I live here. I also have a home in Louisiana.  She is Brasilian and is my Portuguese teacher! 

SallyBR's picture
SallyBR

I think the fact that your wife is Brazilian will definitely help a lot...    I haven't been in Sao Bento do Sul, but the whole region is so gorgeous, and much much safer than places in Sao Paulo and Rio


 


I hope you will keep us posted on your big adventure, and I wish you all the luck!

Candango's picture
Candango

Along with your fresh roasted coffee and gourmet sandwiches, you could draw on your Louisiana background and offer beignets along with the coffee.  They are quick to make and would not be a major investment in time or ingredients, and would also be a (welcome) novelty in your city.  You would be unique and have a corner on the market.  The sweetness would also appeal to the Brasilian taste.


 


Candango

drtown's picture
drtown

Contango, you are 'right on target.'  Beignets and cinnamon rolls will be introduced about the same time. This will be an ecclectic coffee and sandwich house- a blend of Louisiana, Panera bread, Subway and Starbucks.  I hope to bring equipment back in an overseas container. Right now, I envision most of my coffee equipment in three suitcases- just to get started. Yet, I hope to find a deep fryer, for beignets, and other needed things in the classified section of our gazette.

Candango's picture
Candango

Glad to be of help.  (Just an aside, my pen name  - Candango - will probably be recognizable to your wife, as I took it from a Brasilian word).  That aside, when looking through the classifieds for kitchen equipment, deep fryers, etc, don't forget to check on the ads in your large neighbors, Porto Alegre, Florianopolis and Sao Paulo.  You might even find good deals on used equipment from places going out of business.  Just a thought.

drtown's picture
drtown

Dear Friends.  Thank you for your suggestions.  We hope to be operational, late November.  A quick trip back to USA is planned, where I will pack in large suitcases coffee equipment, seasonings and mixes.  Please keep us in your prayers.

midwest baker's picture
midwest baker

That is so exciting! Good Luck!