We’ve had the great opportunity to collaborate on a custom furoshiki wrap for Mary’s Brigadeiro, a Brazilian style chocolate shop in Toronto, Canada. Here is our interview with the founder and head chocolatier, Mariane Oliveira. Shop the print here.
Wrappr: We’re very excited to feature Mary’s Briadeiro with this custom wrap. Your chocolates are so unique, delicious and really beautiful! They are like works of art on their own and we feel like they pair so well with Wrappr.
Thank you for taking part in this interview. We love to highlight the brands that we collaborate with and are making changes to create less wasteful packaging for their products.
To start, tell us a bit about your brand and how your business was founded.
Mariane: Our company is the first chocolate business in Canada focused exclusively in the art of making chocolate Brigadeiros in North America. Brigadeiro is an exotic type of Brazilian chocolate confection really common in Brazil, it’s part of our culture, as in French they have Macarons and in Belgium the famous chocolate truffles, in Brazil we have Brigadeiros. It’s typically across a truffle, a caramel or even a fudge, but with a creamier, smoother and a little bit chewer texture.
My business was founded after I immigrated to Toronto and I saw an opportunity in the confectionery and specialty gifts market. Nobody did it before and I knew we had something amazing and different to offer.
W: What is your mission as a company?
Mariane: The mission of Mary’s Brigadeiro is to spread moments of happiness, joy and fun through our chocolate creations and give job opportunities to women, immigrants with a dream. As an black woman immigrant in Canada, I am aiming for the difficulties we face in our industry and one of the goals was to build a strong company that will be able to change this narrative and offer decent jobs for those who are looking for an opportunity to develop themselves. Today, my business is formed for 95% of women. In Brazil, the Brigadeiro is always around at kids parties, family reunions and I would like to bring a piece of our traditions to Canada.
W: What is the creation process for your chocolates?
Mariane: We basically cook for a really specific time and temperature a mix of sweetened condensed milk, a good quality of real butter, 100% cocoa powder and a pure chocolate up to 50% cacao, after a few hours when the Brigadeiro “ganache” is completely cold, our team of chocolate heroes hand roll every single one by hand into fine and natural chocolate sprinkles, nuts, dried fruits for a great experience. The creation process takes almost 2 days as our process is entirely artisanal and we don’t use any kind of preservatives to extend the shelf life, that means our chocolates are fresh and they don’t last long. It’s a completely new experience in loving chocolate.
W: Where do you find inspiration?
Mariane: My inspiration comes from different places. It may start from a book to a completely different spice from another country, or even from a chat with our clients. We are always looking for flavours that will remind us from our childhood or something that brings us joy, so we are trying to incorporate it into any of our creations.
W: Have you always wanted to be an entrepreneur?
Mariane: No, I never thought that one day I will become an entrepreneur, especially in another country, but I grew up with an incredible passion for new cultures and food, plus my mom is a natural entrepreneur, but that time we didn’t see the things she was doing as an entrepreneur, but by the end I learned so many things just watching her and the transition was natural when I left my 8 to 6 regular job to find something with more purpose in life and then I discovered a passion for chocolate.
W: How did you learn about Wrappr?
Mariane: I was looking for a way to reduce the excessive packaging in our products and to bring something new and exciting to our clients, doing a little research I found a company in Brazil who was incorporating the Furoshiki concept into their creations. Then, after a quick search in Canada I found out that one of our colleagues in the industry Bar Market at Danforth was using Wrappr, and then the rest is story Lol
W: Please tell us a bit about the artwork and design of this custom print?
Mariane: The initial branding our my company is only white and brown as I would like to keep a super minimalist style into our packaging as I’d like to highlight more the chocolates than the packaging, but by the end was not representing our story well, I was missing something to tell our story, to show a little bit of Brazil and the cacao farm. Doing a few searches, I finally came across two different designs that I loved and then put both together, added a little bit more contrast and symbols that represent us and the place we are, bringing joy and color to our lives. That’s how the design borned.
W: What are your thoughts on the climate crisis, zero-waste products, things you’re doing to be environmentally friendly, etc.
Mariane: My thought is if we don’t get out of our comfort zone to understand a little bit what’s going on and do something, we will end up in a place with less natural sources, less green and less joy in life. The climate crisis is happening and I feel that in general, we don’t want to do the extra work and effort to minimize the negative impact we are causing. It’s not easy to change things along the way, but if we do little we will start to inspire others to take action and do the same.
W: What are you most looking forward to this year at Mary’s Brigadeiro?
Mariane: We are basically trying to keep the faith for better days and taking a deep breath daily, we are trying to enjoy the little things as much as we can and bring more exciting things through our creations, sharing more moments of happiness with our clients.