The restaurant chain was created by Norma Weichert.

The restaurant chain was created by Norma Weichert.

Lawyer Norma Weichert, 35, who specializes in social security law and human resources management, left her profession to start a health food business. Its menu consists of salads with different types of dressing inspired by the recipes of her maternal grandmother Dona Normandina. With a stove borrowed from her aunt and used equipment, she opened Banana Verde in 2017 in Colatin, Spain.

A year later, she changed the name of the business to Banana Food and formatted her business as a franchise model. Last year he earned 15 million reais.

I have always dreamed of owning a healthy food business. I was inspired by the sauce recipes my grandmother used to make for me as a child to help me eat better.
Norma Weichert, founder and CEO of Banana Food

The initial investment amounted to 70 thousand reais. Last year, the Banana Food chain earned 15 million reais. Profits are not disclosed.

The Banana Food chain has six operating businesses in the states of Espiritu Santo, Rio and Pernambuco.

Customer picking his own salad

Norma has worked in two law firms in Vitoria and Colatin (Spain). Until one day he saw a 70 m² commercial space for rent in the center of Colatin.

“At the time, I thought this would be a good place to start my own health food business. But everyone in the family was against it, thinking it was crazy of me to leave my profession to invest in a business. my mom supported me,” he said. Her mother, Maria das Grazas Weichert Macedo, 71, and her husband, Daniel Albareda de Oliveira, 33, are partners in the company.

To assemble Banana Verde, Norma borrowed her aunt’s stove and bought a refrigerator, freezer, countertop, and other used equipment. Salad point opened in 2017. The novelty of the business was that the customer customized his salad, choosing every ingredient, protein and sauces.

Then he found another outlet twice as big and opened a second branch of Banana Verde in Colatin. “Because this store had a larger kitchen, I added hot dishes and sandwiches to the menu,” he said.

In late 2018, Norma reformatted the business model for franchising and changed the name of the business to Banana Food. The initial investment for opening a Banana Food franchise starts from 170,000 reais. There are physical stores in two sizes: 80 m² and 100 m².

The menu of the network has about a hundred options for healthy ingredients for salads, with exclusive sauces, signature dishes, appetizers, desserts, drinks and some coffee options. The average amount spent on orders is 30 reais.

According to Norma, the goal is to open 30 franchises by the end of 2022.

Include wild ingredients on your menu

Helena Andrade, project manager at Sebrae-SP, says there are some entrepreneurial traits in Norma Weichert’s trajectory, including the search for opportunities.

“She realized that the healthy food market had potential. She imagined a business, looked for information, thought about the best place for a point, ”he said.

For Elena, expanding the restaurant’s menu is a positive thing, but requires caution. “It is important not to put too many dishes on the menu. A large inventory is difficult to control, especially for perishable products, which ultimately lead to large losses,” he said.

According to her, it is ideal to revise the menu once a year, removing rarely ordered items and adding new products. “It’s also always worth working with strategies to have that ‘wild’ contribution. That is, one that can be present in different dishes. For example, in chicken. Shrimp is a more limited item on the menu,” he explained.

Where to find:

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