Sodiê Doces began in a 20-square-meter property in Salto, in the countryside of São Paulo, and today it has over 310 stores throughout Brazil. Nowadays it is considered the largest franchise specializing in craft cakes in the country. But Cleusa Maria da Silva, the brand creator, could only reach bring her venture to this level by taking in all the opportunities and working extremely hard.
In 1997 Cleusa finally had the chance to start her business, although at a very small scale. But until then, things had been very difficult for her. Coming from a poor family, Cleusa had to work as a ‘cold-meal’ sugarcane cutter and then as a housemaid. Her opportunity only came up when she became an employee of a company. Her boss's wife baked cakes to sell, and when she had a health problem, she asked Cleusa to help her. She ended up not selling bakes anymore herself but left the business for Cleusa.
And it was by baking cakes, which she took to customers on foot, and improving the recipe with the help of her mother, that Cleusa managed to open her small space in Salto. They soon started selling Ninho milk candies whose recipe they had learned from a TV show. The success of the candies coupled with that of the cakes, which became increasingly sophisticated, made the business grow. Four years later, Cleusa moved to an 80-square-meter location, four times larger than the first. Having her brothers and former employees as partners, she went on to open other stores in such nearby cities as Sorocaba, Americana, Itu, and Indaiatuba. In 2007, after ten years of much work, Sodiê Doces became a franchise, something Cleusa didn't even know about when a customer questioned her. But she caught up by taking courses and researching for five years. Then this very customer was her first franchisee in São Paulo.
Today Sodiê Doces has more than 310 stores across Brazil. They are located in 13 states of the country, plus the Federal District: São Paulo, Rio de Janeiro, Bahia, Rio Grande do Norte, Alagoas, Ceará, Minas Gerais, Mato Grosso do Sul, Paraná, Santa Catarina, Goiás, and Espírito Santo. And it’s not going to stop there. It’s now growing in the Northeastern region, and the next target should be overseas.
With over 100 flavors, the cakes are made with sponge cake, a high-quality raw material, and fresh fruit. The customer can order the whole cake, which can be made in about 1 hour, or eat it at the stores, which also offer cake by slice. Not only do the cakes conquer all tastes but they are very affordable. Sodiê Doces also has a sugar-free line of products.