Juliana de Paula moved to Canada from Sao Paulo, Brazil in 2002. The plan to study English for a month in Toronto became a longer stay, and in June she will celebrate 19 years living in the northern country.
If you feel like something is missing, it could mean there is a business opportunity to be had
Through the years, Juliana missed many things from her home country, one of them being the cuisine and its specific products. Having conversations with friends, Juliana noticed she was not the only one missing those products and understood the need the Canadian market had for Brazilian goods.
At a turning point in her life, Juliana decided to take action, offering Brazilian products to the Toronto community. Three years ago, in September of 2017, Juliana opened an online business: Brazilian Market.
Pioneering comes with lots of overtime and dedication
With limited knowledge of Canadian laws, rights and duties, Juliana studied, researched and worked tirelessly to keep the online shop going and growing. Taking government courses, meeting established entrepreneurs for guidance and constantly looking for suppliers and partnerships were only part of the job.
At that point, Brazilian Market was a one person business, and Juliana did it all. From picking up the phone and taking orders, to marketing, customer service and delivery. Working from Sunday to Sunday, the attitude Juliana had is described in her quote “Rain or snow, I have to deliver this product!”.
In-store versus online shopping was another barrier to be broken. Finding the way to attract customers and making them trust the brand required extra care and dedication.
A one person business eventually needs more hands
As people heard more and more about Brazilian Market and the amazing service it provided, the company started to grow and Juliana needed to add staff members to her roster.
A one person business has become a 13+ people business, who all work with the same mindset as the founder: treating people with care and gratitude, providing attentive customer service and making people happy.
For Juliana, having a Brazilian staff is also important to bring comfort to the customers. As she states “speaking portuguese and knowing the clients make all the difference, as we deal with not only the food, but the feelings of people”.
Five star review moves us forward
Brazilian Market recently moved to a warehouse to bear the goods and offer in store shopping to whoever still prefers browsing in person. The goal for now is to structure the warehouse to be closer to customers, as well as develop new partnerships and find more local suppliers.
Looking back, Juliana is grateful for the help and support of the Brazilian community and the feedback she receives throughout her entrepreneur path. For her, “receiving messages from customers saying how happy they were with a product, or how that food we delivered made them feel closer to their home country makes everything worth it”.