Larissa Aiex was an accomplished TV journalist in Brasil, when she thought that it was time for a change. As food has always had an important part in her life, moving into the culinary world was a somewhat natural path for her.
It was in Portugal where Larissa attended culinary classes to become a professional chef while also learning the mechanisms of running a business. After graduating, she created her business and started looking for ways and opportunities that will help her practice grow. And, this is how she came across Erasmus for Young Entrepreneurs and Sophie van Oyen from the Netherlands.
Sophie is a successful chef-owner of a deli shop and catering business called "SophieEats”, specialised in sustainability and zero food waste. Larissa wanted to work with Sophie as she thought she could learn a lot from her, which thrilled Sophie about the idea of working with an entrepreneur who shares the same interest.
Larissa thus flew to the Netherlands in December 2019 for two months. During the exchange, Sophie provided guidance and advices to Larissa as regard to the management of a catering business.
Larissa thus learned about the process of a catering business from A to Z: from the reception of a client inquiry to the offer, consulting clients for menus suggestions and preparation, to ordering from suppliers and delivering at events. Larissa also learned about marketing and communications which is also a key element to make business successful. As such, Larissa got to learn how to deal with the journalist and attended press events that Sophie often organise.
Thanks to this experience, Larissa gained invaluable experience and developed skills in various areas of a culinary business in a different context. She also built a strong relationship with Sophie who was a mentor for her and saw things from an entrepreneurial perspective. From her side, Sophie enjoyed collaborating with Larissa from whom she got new insights notably tapping into the Portuguese market.
For more information, please contact the local contact points involved in the exchange: