From Rio Grande do Sul, Gabrielle Casara Pellin made her immigration process through the province of Quebec and moved to Montreal in January 2013. She fell in love with the city as soon as she arrived there.
As Gabrielle had studied gastronomy and already had experience in the confectionery area in hotels and restaurants in Brazil, joining her passion with an opportunity in a new country was inevitable. The result was to open a confectionery in the heart of Quebec’s largest city, Padoca Patisserie where it produces and sells cakes, croquettes, pastries, sandwiches, in short, the Brazilian flavor. Now she has two stores over there!
Wave talked to the entrepreneur about her patisseries, challenges and the Brazilian community in Montreal.
Wave: Why did you decide to open a pastry shop in Montreal?
Gabrielle: It’s my area of training, and what I love to do. I saw that there was a lack of confectionery, a cafe with snacks in the Brazilian style and I saw an opportunity.
Wave: How was it to open Padoca (now two) in Montreal? What or what were the biggest challenges regarding the Quebec bureaucracy?
Gabrielle: Starting a business, commerce is difficult anywhere. You need a lot of energy, capital and knowledge, especially in the beginning. At first I didn’t have much knowledge about bureaucracy in Quebec, but over time I learned. Today I can deal with more peace of mind.
Wave: There are differences between Brazil and Canada as ingredients and even many times in relation to the stove. How was it to adapt Brazilian manufacturing and even recipes and products to Canada?
Gabrielle: I had no problem with the ingredients and the way of production. Everything can be found or adapted. The only change I remember making was in the amount of sugar in some recipes, which we would prefer to reduce in order to please the local clientele a little more.
Wave: What was the Canadian (or non-Brazilian) receptiveness to your products?
Gabrielle: Most of the time everything is approved. They like it a lot. Some people happen to like it, but it is normal in any trade. I believe that the acceptance has been excellent.
Wave: Why did you choose Longueuil for the branch? Do you have plans to open others?
Gabrielle: I think we were chosen by Longueuil. We were looking for a location for a new production kitchen. We didn’t want another store, just the kitchen for production. We looked in different places, different cities close to Montreal. We went to a small town about 40km from Montreal, and nothing. When we found this place in Longueuil, we knew it was a good and accessible place, and we could still open another point of sale. It could not have been better.
Wave: What would be your advice or tip for those who would like to open a business in Montreal?
Gabrielle: Research a lot about the legislation related to your niche, research a lot about the bureaucracy of the city and the province, have a good working capital, a good accountant and a lawyer. Be careful if your business needs a lot of manpower, this is one of the biggest difficulties I have experienced since the beginning of Padoca.
Wave: Which one or which sweets or snacks do you like the most?
Gabrielle: I love pastel, brigadeiro and chocolate cake.
Wave: How do you see the Brazilian community in Montreal?
Gabrielle: I think the Brazilian community in Montreal is incredible. Thanks to this community we have grown a lot. The community strongly supports the trade and services made by Brazilians, and always has a mutual help network. If you need anything during your Montreal experience, you can count on the Brazilian community.
Wave: Is there anything you would like to add?
Gabrielle: I would like to say that I am very happy and grateful for Padoca’s recognition. I hope to be contributing to our community here in Quebec.