Good palm oil, shrimp, beans, peanuts and lots of weasels. Who in Bahia can resist the acarage? This is exactly what housewife Claudia Pineiro, better known as Preta, thought when she came up with the idea to start selling frozen delicacies during the pandemic and thereby guarantee additional income, since one of her daughters was left without a job. Kituteira with a handful, I must say, there was no other: people also began to ask where they could buy a hot product in order to immediately consume it.
“Customers soon began to look for ready-made delicacies, and then we saw an opportunity to expand the business. Since I was also very dissatisfied with the job – not because of the activity, but because of the lack of fair remuneration and the treatment of the maid – I decided that I would go out and put everything we had into Dendê da Preta. , she said.
Together with her daughters Camila Tuane, Amanda and Isabelle Preta, she decided to adapt the bike and sell the charms of Dendê da Preta (@dendapreta) at Revolution Square in Periperi. It contained everything except a tray: akarahe, abara, a student’s pie, and a bird with farofa and salad. As she says, it was a hell of a success.
“I had about 6,000 reais to start with. A family friend gave us a piece. Secondly, I used my completion and my eldest daughter also contributed. We were born and raised here in Periperi and Praça da Revolution is the oldest square, the site of major events in the area, almost a tourist spot, a commercial and fun place for families. There was no better place for our food bike.”
From ride to ride a month ago, the food bike has grown into a food truck. During the pandemic, monthly sales were approximately 2,000 reais. In one month with the food truck, Dendê da Preta has already doubled its income to 4,000 reais. In addition to the food truck, the grocery store continued to deliver frozen food and also takes orders for events.
“The whole family works with palm oil and cooks Bahai food very well. I studied with my grandmother and aunts who raised me. We’ve all worked with the acarage sale and, in a way, saved it. My grandmother, doña Helena, was one of the first baianas de acarajé here in Periperi, her tray was in front of the old station. It’s part of history and ancestors.”
And Preta products were not only in Periperi. The brand has already sent frozen food deliveries to Santa Catarina, Sao Paulo, Porto Alegre and Pernambuco. “We are always creating something new for our customers. Our moqueca, the winner of last year’s Tempero do Subúrbio gastronomic battle, was a gift when we created Caixa Baiana. We also made an abará egg for Easter. We are always innovating, whether it is the way our product is delivered, the packaging or the structure,” he says.
Top-selling items include acarage and student cake. Prices range from 5 to 11 reais. The food truck even got the nickname food teco. This is because Preta is preparing a menu with several bar dishes, drinks and beverages, which should be launched soon.
“There were several challenges to get here, including surviving with a variable income, upgrading, learning about marketing, sales, customer relations, food storage and freezing, and the financial organization. But, thank God, we had several opportunities along the way, participated in several actions to help entrepreneurs and received several awards that helped us reinvest in the business.”
Dendê da Preta was a finalist for the Academia Assaí (2021) representing the street vendor category and recently completed the Vale do Dendê acceleration program for food entrepreneurs.
“Each recognition came at a different time and helped us achieve our goals at every stage we went through, giving us momentum and making us believe we are on the right track.” Basic moments.
Now, Preta wants the food truck to be in other parts of El Salvador to open a restaurant and consolidate the sale and delivery of frozen delicacies from Bahia throughout Brazil. “There are many plans, but we really want this expansion. For us, Dendê da Preta is the realization of a family dream project. This is innovation, overcoming and inspiration for all who know our history,” he concludes.
TIPS FOR BLACK
. invest in knowledge
Nobody knows everything. Today there are many options for free education. It takes attitude, time and interest.
. Be close to your client
Always listen to what he has to say and focus on delivering the best gastronomic experience you can provide, both in taste, packaging, individual serving, and structure.
. People love to learn new things
The new is always welcome, so betting on the differential is a very interesting strategy, especially for businesses that were born in the suburbs.
Do not hesitate to use quality ingredients and materials. The customer identifies with the product/service, and when that happens, the value they pay ends up increasing their business over the competition.
Social networks, partnerships with other entrepreneurs, networking. All of this is very empowering.
WHO IS IT
Claudia Pinheiro, better known as Preta, she is a deli maker and creator of the deli brand Dendê da Preta.