Unemployed at the height of the pandemic, 33-year-old Brazilian cook Ludmila Azevedo opened Amazontella, an Amazon-flavored sweets company, in Boston, USA, in November 2020. The products have a family recipe, but she had to adapt it to American taste. The company earned $70,000 last year. Profits are not disclosed.
“This is a recipe my mother made in Brazil for pot cakes. But I had to adapt it because cupuaçu is exotic and has a different acidity. The difference is that I use French powdered chocolate and a Belgian chocolate bar, and how to change the proportion of the ingredients to harmonize with the cupuaçu,” she says from Manaus (AM).
To create sweets Amazontellashe says she combined the experience she gained working in restaurants in Boston and making cakes in Manaus.
According to her, the Amazon was most attractive to Americans. “When introducing my products to Americans, I always say: “Your Nutella is from the Amazon rainforest.” [“Sua Nutella da floresta amazônica”, na tradução]”, he declares. The choice of the company name (Amazontella) stems from this attraction: it is a combination of the words Amazônia and Nutella.
Ever since I was in the US, I have missed the tastes of the Amazon and have never found them here.
Ludmila Azevedo, founder of Amazontella
The 3-pack is $43.
Amazontella offers three main products:
- Cupuaçu jam: cupuaçu jelly. Cost $16 (can 225 grams)
- Cupuaçu with Jam and Chocolate Cream: Layers of cupuaçu jelly with chocolate cream (family recipe). Cost $14 (can 225 grams)
- Brigadeiro Nuts: Brazil nut cream. Cost $13 (can 225 grams)
There is also a limited edition called Cupuaçu Cream available only on commemorative dates. It costs $15. A set of three basic flavors costs $43 plus shipping.
The main sales channel is e-commerce, and the clientele is 50% American and 50% Brazilian based in the US and Canada. It purchases resources from American suppliers of Brazilian goods. “One of them is supplying me with raw materials from Brazil,” he says.
On average, Ludmila produces 40 kg of cupuaçu jelly per month. All production is done by herself, in the house. In June, production will move to a dark kitchen outside of Boston. Ludmila says she intends to hire immigrants from Brazil.
Entrepreneurial Start with a Pot Pie
The daughter of a civil servant and a seamstress mother, Ludmila decided to take Sebrae’s Empretec course to help run the family’s clothing store in 2015. However, as part of the course, it was necessary to create a product and sell it.
“I made pots, gave ten to each friend to sell, and in four days I sold 250 pots,” says Lyudmila, who has been in the business for another year. He sold cakes in pots in shops and supermarkets in Manaus for 10 reais apiece.
The company was called Pote com Amor and the pot cakes had affectionate names such as “Colo de Vó” (milk cake with cream, cinnamon and fried banana), “Cafuné” (cinnamon cake with dulce de leche), “Passion” (milk cake, cupuaçu jam and chocolate ganache) and Abraço Apertado (chocolate cake with coconut cream).
Trip to Boston to study English
After graduating as an accountant and an MBA in marketing from Amazon universities, Ludmila decided to go to Boston to study English in 2018. To survive, she started working in city restaurants. She started as an assistant in the kitchen, then became a cook.
After the fire in the house where she lived, Lyudmila says that she began to give her life another meaning and, among other goals, one of them had to be undertaken. The idea matured, and in November 2020 he opened Amazontella.
The plans for 2023 are to open branches of the company in Brazil. According to her, the business model is still under development.
The company should expand the range of suppliers
For Juliana Berbet, Sebrae-SP consultant, Ludmila Azevedo is a “well-disposed” person. “Lyudmila saw a business opportunity by thinking about what she needs in this country. She kept the antenna looking at the market and figured out how to work there,” he says.
The consultant also says Ludmila knew how to pique the curiosity of the American consumer by addressing their cultural problem by offering a product based on cupuaçu, a typical Amazonian fruit. “And she turned to the local culture to tailor her product to American tastes,” he says.
However, Yuliana says that her business must depend on more than just local suppliers to avoid possible disruptions in the supply of essential business inputs.
“You can never depend on multiple suppliers. Especially with such a specific product. It is worth considering the possibility of importing directly from Amazon or having other channels of local suppliers,” he says.
About working abroad, Yuliana says that you need to understand the consumer market of the country, the culture and customs of your client, as well as be aware of issues such as legislation, licenses and taxes, etc. “All this can affect the final price of the product. For you to maintain quality and an attractive price, these issues are relevant.”
Where to find:
Amazontella – https://amazontella.com/