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Teresinha Lisieux (Cajuína São Geraldo): The love brand of soft drinks

20:16 16 de November de 2022 Por Daniel Oiticica

Teresinha Lisieux, Director of Cajuína São Geraldo

With more than 45 years on the market, a true ‘love brand’ from Ceará, Cajuína São Geraldo brings in its portfolio a whole history of excellence and high-quality standards in its product catalog, which, besides the traditional cashew soda, also has sodas in grape and guaraná flavors. One of the aspects that stands out in the history of the company, operating since the 1970s, is the appreciation and encouragement of the northeastern cultural traditions, especially those of the Cariri region, in southern Ceará. In this interview, Teresinha Lisieux, the company’s director, explains the essential factors for the longevity of the company, as well as projections for the future.

How is Cajuína São Geraldo currently working?
We were carrying out a well-structured growth plan in 2019, and then we were faced with the pandemic in 2020. Since we are a beverage company, our work did not stop. We kept working, and in this pandemic period, what we noticed is that consumption changed. We used to sell a lot of what we call ‘pitchulinha’, which is the 250 ml product, and the one-liter bottle, and then the two-liter family package started to gain prominence. It is only now, in 2022, that the one-liter package is making a strong comeback. During the pandemic, we worked in a very limited way, but we did not fire anyone in the company. We did all the planning so that there would be no job losses. Now, in 2022, the doors have re-opened and we have resumed the activities we used to do. We opened the doors for the pilgrimages, in which we received, here in the company, more than 11,000 people during three days.

How is the company structured?
Currently, we serve the entire Northeast region. São Paulo and Brasília get another slice. However, our focus today is the Northeast. We intend to strongly enter the entire region and we are making an expansion plan within the industry. We are receiving new machinery in order to be able to continue with our strategic planning in terms of distributing to the entire Northeast. We are investing in new blowers, syrup mills and fillers.

With years of experience in the Ceará market, how do you see Ceará, its business environment, its infrastructure, and its competitive advantages?
Today we can say that we are in a comfortable situation. There are a series of public policies and incentives, such as the Industrial Development Fund (FDI) and the Tax Recovery Program (Refis). Cajuína São Geraldo is located in a very privileged position, about 600 kilometers from all the capitals in the Northeast, with the exception of Salvador, in Bahia. But, as a state, we need better distribution logistics of highways and railroads, which open opportunities for investment. Ceará has everything good. Wonderful sunshine, a privileged location, with very strong religious and ecological tourism. We have several shoe and aluminum hubs. We also have the large supermarket chains. Everyone comes here, so there are many opportunities in Cariri.

Cajuína São Geraldo carries with it a whole identity from Ceará…
Cajuína São Geraldo is a family business. It was born inside a house, in 1970. It was basically a laboratory inside a house, which kept the raw material in one room. Here in Juazeiro we have the tradition of the “reisados”, which are celebrations in honor of the Three Kings. These celebrations take place in the streets between Christmas and Three Kings Day (6th of January) and, as there were many “reisado” groups around here, they used to pass in front of Cajuína. José Amâncio, Francisco de Souza, and Tarcila Sousa, who are the people who created cajuína, offered the drink with cookies, which became a tradition. Today we receive the pilgrims in our factory, and we have created a brand, “Forró da São Geraldo,” for the events during the pilgrimage season.

As a Ceará native, part of a family business and an industry that generates wealth and jobs, how do you expect to see Ceará in the future?
Health is very important to generate jobs. A person with health and quality of life can work in peace and prosper. A person who has well-being in life manages to enhance the creative process, this competence flourishes and, with that, creates new businesses and products.