More and more expatriate Brazilians are choosing to work with Brazilian specialty coffees in the countries where they live. This is the case of Max Lousada, Duda, who created the Brazilian Coffee Company startup in Vienna, where he has lived with his family since 2014.
Had it not been for his stubbornness, Max could have had a hopeless life in Brazil. His mother was a teenager who gave birth and immediately delivered the child to a family that already had five daughters, but who longed for a boy.
Despite being warmly welcomed, Duda, as he likes to be called, did not feel that he belonged to that world. When he turned 15, he left home to study and work.
He has lived in several places and became a British citizen after 14 years of residence in England. In London, he worked in the best restaurants, graduated as a sommelier – has 26 years of experience in gastronomy – and married a Slovak. In 2010, when the United Kingdom was discussing about leaving the European Union, Max took his family, already with three children (Liam, Mia and Tristan), and decided to go to Slovakia to start a business there. Due to local government impositions, Duda was unable to stay in the country and decided to try his luck in Vienna.
Fluent in five languages (Portuguese, English, Italian, Spanish, Slovak and German), he began to work at the famous 5-star hotel Sacher, also home to the Anna Sacher restaurant, one of the best in the country, as soon as he arrived.
He was happy until in late 2016, Duda became very ill, feeling sick and tired. However, he had had a premonitory dream. “In the dream, I was feeling very happy and in a beautiful place, in a plantation. However, at that moment, I could neither identify the place where I was nor what I had planted”, he says.
When he woke up, he picked up his laptop and began looking for some similar landscapes and discovered that, in his dream, he had been on a coffee farm.
He told his wife Miroslava, who, knowing her companion’s obstinacy, was not surprised when he said that he needed to come to Brazil to know more about coffee. As he arrived here, he spent three weeks visiting several farms and was enchanted by the property of Mr. Sebastião Afonso da Silva, in Cristina, MG (see article…)
He was so in love that he returned to Vienna to resign and open his specialty coffees importer/exporter, the so-called Brazilian Specialty Coffee.
He rented an 25-square meter office in the city downtown (the rest of the 160-meter property is divided between the house, roaster and shop), got a 20 thousand euro loan to start the business and bought a container with only special coffees, to resell them to various cafes and roasters in Europe, most of them Eastern European.
“In this regard, the knowledge about the culture of the Eastern countries that my wife has, is key for us to get many clients there. And they like Brazilian specialty coffees”, he says.
And the plans are ambitious: Duda expects to earn a million euros, at least, until the end of 2018, when the company completes its first year of activities. Still in 2018, he expects to start his toast business. To do this, he has already bought a variety of equipment, and in three years, he will set up his first coffee shop in Vienna. “The climate is cold and Viennese love the coffee shops”, already dreaming of his clientele.
“We are working to sell only coffee already roasted in Austria, as green coffee is not sold here”, he says. And with several Brazilian partners, Duda has been able to buy microbatches over 85 points from several small producers in the Mantiqueira de Minas, Alto Caparaó regions, between Minas, Espírito Santo and Piatã, Bahia.
In February, Duda will receive specialty coffees from partners such as Cleverson Daniel, from Cristina’s Vargem Alegre site, Robson Vilella’s Alta Vista farm, Água Limpa farm, owned by Helio Daniel, from Cristina at the Cachoeirinha site, Edson da Silva, also from Cristina and the São Geraldo site, in Lambari, Minas Gerais.
The headquarters of Brazilian Coffee Company is located at Richard StrauB Strasse 25, 1st floor, Liesing, Vienna, Austria.