It’s been a year since the Brazilian-themed restaurant Batuqui
(12706 Larchmere Blvd., 216-801-0227) opened up on Larchmere Boulevard. Business has been booming and management is gearing for anniversary celebrations to be held on and around Memorial Day.
But before that, likely in late April or early May, the owners of Batuqui will open a Brazilian market specializing in Latin food products. Located immediately next door to Big Al’s Diner, Ipanema Brazilian Market
(12602 Larchmere Rd.) will fill a gaping hole in the retail market, says GM Bruna Pinto.
“The reason we came up with having the market is because the only place where Brazilians can go shopping for products is in Columbus,” Pinto explains. “So for Northeast Ohio Brazilians, they have to drive two hours to get what they need. Since we already drive to New Jersey to pick up all our dried goods for the restaurant, we figured we might as well get bigger qualities and sell it, because people are always asking.”
The store will not be limited to Brazilian products, nor geared solely to Brazilian customers.
“We will focus on Brazilian products but we’ll have things from other Latin countries because our cultures are so similar,” she adds.
At the restaurant, says Pinto, customers are always asking where they can purchase the mix for the cheese bread, passion fruit juice, good coffee or palm oil for cooking. Now they will have a convenient location that sells them all in one place.
“The Brazilian community is growing very much, but it’s not only the Brazilians who are buying things from us. Most of our clientele at the restaurant are Americans, who also ask us where they can buy this stuff. So we know we’ll have enough people to keep the store open and going.”
Items like fresh corn tortillas, tapioca flour, palm oil, linguiça sausages, and popular Brazilian cuts of meat like the picanha will all be on hand, as will fresh fruit juices along with frozen fruit pulp. A frozen foods section will offer fully prepared, heat-and-eat foods.
“And there will be a small café so you can grab a good cup of Brazilian coffee,” adds Pinto.
As for the restaurant, says Pinto, “It’s doing fabulous. People are coming more and more regular and bringing new people with them. Larchmere is becoming a great location for shopping and entertainment.”