Upstate South Carolina may be an unlikely place to find a haven for fresh Brazilian coffee beans. But when Ricardo Pereira, a native Brazilian, found himself without a job after his company downsized in 2008, he began importing coffee almost out of necessity.
According to a Greenville (S.C.) Online report, Pereira has since been cultivating relationships with farmers — many of which he knew from growing up in the Alta Mogiana region of Brazil — and his import business is doing so well that it’s outgrowing its Simpsonville-based warehouse space.
As reporter Nathanial Cary describes, Pereira’s business — known as BRASC, which stands for Brazil Specialty Coffee as well as Brazil South Carolina — represents an encouraging trend, as specialty importers help boost the state’s and the nation’s troubled economies:
Nearly all of BRASC’s coffee arrives through the Port of Charleston shipped in 40-ton containers that are then delivered locally. Pereira and an employee unload the coffee at a Greenville warehouse or at BRASC’s headquarters on an unassuming back street, in an equally unassuming red brick office building, in Simpsonville.
Pereira then sells the high-quality specialty coffee to local coffee shops including Carolina Coffee Roasters, Liquid Highway and Leopard Forest as well as along the East Coast and to international markets, such as Taiwan and Italy.
Pereira, for one, told the paper that he sources from smaller farms that proactice sustainable and organic farming, and who can produce beans with some character, as compared to so much of the coffee coming from Brazil, the world’s largest coffee importer. “I want my coffee to have a unique taste,” he said. “I don’t like to have a coffee that’s kind of boring, mellow, there’s not too much going on. I like coffee that has some character.”
The full story: Greenville Online