In 2003, before coming to Switzerland accompanying her husband Alexandre, Jussara worked in graphic arts. When receiving guests and family, she would often prepare a Brazilian specialty, “pão de queijo”.
She found the special flour necessary for the delicacy in a food store, which after a while, became an outlet for the sale of the “boules”. Of course, the product underwent quality control by the Swiss official department, which also advised on the packaging and labelling, to make it acceptable to be sold in Switzerland.
Word of mouth about the boules worked so well that their kitchen became too small for the demand. Jussara and Alexandre undertook serious market research and came to the conclusion that their product had great potential for success in the entire country, not only because there are about 12000 Brazilians living in Switzerland (number provided by the Brazilian Consulate) but many Swiss had developed Brazilian connections through family, friendship, tourism, sports or education.
At the beginning, the objective was to sell in small specialty stores where Brazilian and Portuguese products could be found, but to achieve better commercial results, the aim changed to sell to large food chains. Through their marketing efforts, Alexandre and Jussara succeeded in placing their product at Manor, Migros and Alligro, large food chains in the country.
Alexandre says the most important challenges in Switzerland are in the area of quality control. The department in charge of this issue is very efficient and constructive in helping the entrepreneur to conform to the existing laws. Their product is made with Gruyere cheese and they received the seal of approval stamped on their label, an important fact when marketing the product.
Today Alexandre and Jussara have 5 employees and keep a tight schedule to ensure quality and on-time delivery. The “Boules d’Or” factory is situated in Nyon, in the canton of Vaud, and produces an average of 3000kg of frozen boules per month, with capacity to double that figure.
The success of “Boule D’Or” gave rise to competition from other companies, but Jussara has total confidence in their product and says that there is room for everyone in the business.
Alexandre says that they owe their success not only by selling to Brazilians. They did not bring a product from abroad to sell it in the country: they absorbed the local culture and tastes and used the best Swiss products like cheese and other ingredients, to produce a specialty from another country and make it successful locally.
Their advice to other Brazilians who wish to enter the Swiss market is to persevere, to adapt and understand the local culture and hygiene standards.
In July 2020, a team from the CHamBR visited the factory in Nyon. The members were warmly received and offered a wide presentation of a new variety of boules, accompanied by local wines.
“Boule D’Or” is one of the main supporters of the CHamBR, which gives them an opportunity to advertise its products during business and cultural events.
The CHamBR wishes Alexandre and Jussara continuing success in developing new products and expanded sales.
Article by Adriana VerdierTranslated by Irena Katz Staniak