Bianca Silveira came to the United States from São Paulo, Brazil fourteen years ago with no idea that she would be elbow-deep in cookies today.
A degree in hospitality management led to the food and beverage side of the hotel business, and while she liked the cooking aspect of the industry, she loved the baking aspect the most. Not a surprise, given her childhood interest: baking in the family kitchen alongside her mother.
“I was always a stubborn kid,” she recalls. “I liked to experiment and change recipes, even though my mother would insist on following them as they were written. But I wanted to know what would happen if I changed an ingredient, or added something new. Would it work? Would I get a better result?”
Seven years after coming to the U.S., Silveira started thinking about her now-signature product, Bianca’s Brazilian Bites. “I love all baked goods, but especially cookies. I would eat them all the time, and finally, I began looking at the ingredient labels. Things I could not pronounce and a lot of sugar and fats. So I wondered if I could make something better.”
A perfect recipe for the cookies required five years of experimenting, and a lot of errors in those early trials. In 2012, after baking Bites for friends and relatives and giving them as gifts (and getting a lot of encouragement to sell them), Silveira started holiday-only sales for the first time. One successful season led to another in 2013 and 2014 marks the first full year of production for the Bites, thanks to the opportunity to move the baking and packaging from her home to a local production kitchen.
Bites come in four flavors: peanut butter chocolate chip (the original flavor), double dark chocolate chip, almond coconut raisin and macadamia nut cranberry white chocolate. Silveira also makes almond coconut rum balls, and these are special order only. Her products are made without flour, added sugar, eggs, butter or oils, so they are both gluten-free and vegetarian. The Bites, which are sold in half-dozen and one dozen packages, are small in size, yet substantial; at about a quarter-inch thick, you get two or three bites to a Bite. The texture is soft, yet with no tendency to fall apart. And while there is a sweet note, it doesn’t overwhelm the other ingredients.
Silveira plans to sell Bianca’s Brazilian Bites at local greenmarkets and other outlets as production increases; she plans to bake about 500 Bites a week in order to meet the demand and keep the product fresh and available.
Have a Bite and “Enjoy all of the taste, none of the junk.”
To find out more about Bianca’s Brazilian Bites, you can visit the link or call Silveira at (239) 273-5236(239) 273-5236 for more information.