Luisa Siquerira | Brazil | 11 April 2016
My name is Valéria Konerat, I’m 33 and I live in Linha de Rocinha in Arroio do Tigre, Brazil. I’m married to Leonel Bilhão, and we have four children Jennifer (15), July (12), Gabriel (7), and Enzo (2). I’ve always worked in family farming, helping Leonel plant tobacco.
I wanted to learn how to make bread, biscuits and cookies for my family. Before the course I didn’t really think about selling the things I made, I just wanted to bake better food for my family.
I liked everything about it. It was easy to understand and I could use ingredients I already had or those that were easy to buy.
I use most of the techniques and recipes, especially those for breads and cookies. I’ve even adapted some of my own recipes. I also apply what I learned about the importance of presentation. I’ve sold cookies, breads, cakes, and other baked products at EXPOTIGRE and Oktoberfest (fairs organized by ARISE), and I take part in ARISE Mothers Fairs.
Our financial situation has definitely improved and the children take part in ARISE afterschool programs. I have the chance for a new profession and my home cooking has also improved - my friends and neighbors all want to buy my bread!.
I still bake at home but one day I want to have my own bakery business and make different products. I already invest my profits in equipment so I can improve my sales – I bought a new electric oven. I also bought a roller with part of an ARISE family support scholarship. I’d like to learn how to sell better, and how to lower my costs.
I’m very thankful because it has given me the opportunity to learn and have a source of extra income. It’s still small, but hopefully it will increase in the future!