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This is her cup of coffee

Dealing with a worldwide passion on a daily basis is not an easy task. This is the case with coffee, one of the world’s preferred drinks and Cristina Dias’ passion. For the past three years, Dias has been bringing a specialty coffee directly from her family’s farm in the city of Pocos de Caldas, Minas Gerais, Brazil. Her ultimate goal is to make the Brazilian product known in multiple countries and be recognized as the best in Brazil when it comes to quality.
Although she is a relatively new player in the market, Dias has already established the brand Mogiana Coffee in Vancouver as synonymous with excellence. Today this Brazilian coffee can be found in nearly 90 stores in the Lower Mainland and is available in at least five countries.
Dias welcomedA Brazilian VibeA to the offices of Mogiana Coffee in Richmond and talked about her story.
Brazilian VibeA – What was the process for creating Mogiana Coffee?
Cristina Dias –A Around 2000 I started having the idea of ‹‹bringing coffee out here; I even opened a business on my own and sold coffee on a small scale, sold to friends and to some stores. At that period I did not have enough time to devote myself to the business, but in the meantime my brother opened his coffee business in Portland. He quit his job to devote all of his time to coffee. After a year his business started to do well and he told me: “You have to quit your job, you have to open the business there because it works, people love our product.“ Then one day we found ourselves ready to do it. I quit my job to open Mogiana Coffee.
BVA – Why did you decide to invest in Canada?
CD –A I was already living here and I noticed that Canadians love coffee. My family began to focus on the specialty coffees market and here we see that the market was really growing in this niche. People who drink coffee here are becoming increasingly demanding about the quality and since we have a high quality product, we thought it would do well in the marketplace here.
BVA – Coffee is a worldwide passion and there are large global
companies that invest in the area. Was it a big challenge to break into this market?

CD –A It is certainly a very competitive market. In the beginning I did some research to learn more about the industry and everyone always said: “It is very difficult, you should not do this.“ But when I launched Mogiana we really focused on the business aspect and I started to work full time on this project. It’s a competitive market, but I think that the combination of quality and tradition our product brings rings a bell with our customers.
BVA – What is a typicalA workday like for you?
CD –A It is busy (laughs). I doA a lot: marketing, sales, some accounting¦ There are several things that I am responsible for within the company.
I would say that my day has a littleA bit of everything. I come to the office and make phone calls, havemeetings, but often I’m outA visitingA clients.
BVA – What advice would you give to people who want to invest in Canada?
CD –A I recommend a lot of perseverance and patience. Canada is a little different from the United States. I think that in the U.S. businesses can grow faster and I do not know if it’s because the population is larger or if there is a different structureA here, but Canada
is a country whereA it takes a little longer to grow. You must have perseverance,A come financially prepared,A and do a veryA meticulousA job.
Photo by: Lucas Socio

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