Did the Olympics pass you by without learning more about the host country like you had planned? Not to worry—Westchester has its own little piece of Brazil in the heart of White Plains. Brazilian native Celina Bredemann and Paraguayan native Liz Marina Cardozo opened their own small coffee shop with big flavor called Araras Coffee & More in November 2014, sharing both their knowledge and passion for Brazilian food with the Westchester community.
The shop only seats six, but fans travel from all over the county (especially ex-pats) to enjoy the authentic snacks, sweets, coffees, and Brazilian groceries. Their most popular offerings are the fluffy pão de queijo (cheese bread), crunchy coxinha (fried dough stuffed with chicken), and flaky empadinha (pot pie). And their out-of-this-world (read: strong) Três Pontas coffee is imported from the state of Minas Gerais in southeastern Brazil.
All desserts are handmade on-premise. Bredemann’s specialty is sweet brigadeiros, tiny truffles that come in 59 flavors, including dark chocolate, coconut, lime, acai, and even Nutella. Both Bredemann and Cardozo learned how to bake from their mothers, and Araras does brisk business providing hundreds of these tiny snacks, desserts, and gourmet cakes for bridal showers and birthday parties.
Cardozo and Bredemann, both currently residing in White Plains, met while working at defunct area coffee shop Alo Brasil, and felt it was natural to open their own business together after the closure. At Araras, they manage everything themselves—from baking the desserts, to handling inventory, to marketing. But Cardozo assures customers, “We love what we do here, and when you love what you do, everything is easier.” Or as Bredemann gushes, “This store is a dream come true.”
Araras Coffee & More
406 Mamaroneck Ave., White Plains
(914) 831-5439; ararascoffee.com