Brazi Bites entered the Shark Tank on November 20 debuting their Brazilian-inspired cheese bread. Heavy interviewed Junea Rocha who entered the Tank with her husband, Cameron. When asked what her family in Brazil thinks about her company, she said, “They are so proud and excited we’re sharing our family’s recipe with the world. They were scared at first when I left a cushy corporate career as an engineer to work seven days a week for no pay… But look at us now! Over 800 stores and about to air on Shark Tank. Here is what else she told us about…
How the Idea Came About
I’m from Brazil and grew up eating Brazilian Cheese Bread. It’s a staple food in Brazil and all over South America, kind of like chips are here. It’s so delicious and happens to be naturally gluten-free! I couldn’t find it anywhere in the U.S. and couldn’t believe everyone was missing out. We created Brazi Bites and our product line from my family’s recipe and started knocking on doors.
Working With Her Husband
Throwing back to 2011 when we shared our family's recipe for the first time in a food show in our hometown Portland, OR. We stayed up all night rolling thousands of cheese bread pieces by hand… But it simply wasn't enough. The response was totally overwhelming and we sold out halfway through the show!! At that point we knew we had something special 💛
We really enjoy working together but it can get pretty heated at times. Brazi Bites is growing so fast that it seems like we have to make game changing decisions several times a day. As you would expect with any partner, we don’t always agree on everything. But we have great respect for one another and always end up on the same page. We work constantly. That’s the biggest pro and the biggest con to running a business with your significant other. It gives us an edge professionally, but there is little separation from our personal lives, at least not at this stage.
Our bestseller is our Original flavor which is the traditional Brazilian cheese bread. We use cheddar and Parmesan cheese in our recipe and it’s delicious. Our second bestseller is our newest flavor Garlic Asiago. Our customers can’t get enough and it’s also my current favorite.
Where You Can Find Them
Brazi Bites are available in the freezer section of over 800 stores across the U.S, including select Whole Foods, Sprouts, Kroger, Wegmans and Costco. We are not available in all states yet but stay tuned for a lot more stores in 2016.
The ‘Tank’ Experience
It was such a journey getting there. It felt like one of those special moments in life that could change everything. We felt honored and blessed, considering that 45,000 entrepreneurs applied for Season 7 and less than 200 were selected to pitch. The production team was awesome, very supportive and really pumped us up before we went in to face the sharks. It was kind of like an out-of-body experience negotiating with people we’d seen so much on TV and have a ton of respect for. They’re the real deal and you have to be ready for their best shot.
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