Ideas for launch Cacha, the Brazilian national spirit cachaça premium brand, came to its founders in a way that good ideas best do: in a small apartment in New York City, in conversation with friends. Nick Walker, supply chain consultant, and Guilherme Junqueira, production assistant for shoe designer Come on, Giudicelliboth grew up in Rio de Janeiro and lived in New York City pursuing their respective careers. One evening entertaining a friend from Texas led to the topic of Brazil. They told him about the country’s music, artists and culture, as well as his liquor. To Junqueira and Walker, the friend had never heard of cachaça, the popular Brazilian spirit most often used in caipirinhas. (Anthony Bourdain once said that the caipirinha alone was an argument for the greatness of the country.)
Cachaça is a unifying spirit, they explain, that all Brazilians have shared historically, from cattle breeders to corporate professionals. It is loved by all, and serves as a bridge that holds various communities together – often in celebration. But when they go out to buy a bottle to share with their friends, they are struck by the lack of choice. “In New York, where you can really find anything, we couldn’t find a brand or bottle that resembled the quality we used to find in Rio,” said Junqueira. When their friend suggested that they make it themselves, that was all they needed to hear. They made the brand the same night.
Their research quickly validated that Americans had not been introduced to native Brazilian culture. Cachaça that is underrepresented as a category is one data point. “Brazil exports one-tenth of what Mexico exports in the form of tequila,” notes Junqueira. Liquor has always been a catalyst for cultural integration and global expansion. “It’s very similar to Mexico in the 70s and 80s,” he says, “and how little the world knows about tequila or mezcal because high-quality artisanal products are enjoyed at home and not exported worldwide. “Years later, both tequila and mezcal expanded their reach with premium alcoholic beverages that invited Americans to participate in an unprecedented, authentic aspect of Mexican culture. “If we can be the ones who introduce consumers to this delicious and high potential category [of cachaça], we will succeed, “said Junqueira.