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Southwest Orange Thursday, Dec. 1, 2016 3 years ago

Brazilian cousins create all-natural fruit bars

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Through their business, So Fruitty, Windermere cousins Cesar and Alex Frota offer what they frozen “fruit on a stick.”
by: Brittany Gaines Reporter

ORLANDO There is no concentrated fruit juice in the So Fruitty industrial kitchen.

Instead, crates of fresh bananas, strawberries, mangos, coconuts and kiwis are shipped in each morning. The fruits are then peeled, sliced and blended with a splash of spring water and a dash of pure cane sugar before getting poured into popsicle molds.

It’s a production process that makes owners Cesar and Alex Frota - Windermere residents - shine with pride.

“It’s healthy but with good taste; It’s like eating the fruit (on a stick),” Cesar said. “That’s the big idea behind the product.”

And these frozen fruit bars, called So Fruitty, are popping up in shops and grocery stores across Central Florida.

The idea for So Fruitty began several years ago when Cesar and his cousin, Alex, began brainstorming business ideas to come up with a healthy, post-workout snack.

“We run marathons and half marathons, so we wanted something truly healthy and natural,” Cesar said.

That’s when the cousins tapped into their Brazilian roots.

Having both grown up in Brazil, the two were constantly surrounded by fresh fruits as a primary source of nutrition.

“There is a raw juice culture in Brazil, but here it’s more convenient to buy juices in the store,” Cesar said. “Now, there’s a trend of going back to more raw.”

But it wasn’t until they met Renzy “Junior” Bernardina that the cousin’s idea of frozen fruit bars began to solidify. Under Bernardina’s culinary skills, they began concocting So Fruitty bars.

“One of the key things is that we use fresh fruits,” Cesar said. “The texture, the taste - it’s unbelievable.”

After three years of building their factory and business, they began production in February. Today, they’re up to 13 different flavors with several more set to be released this month.

“We try to keep the characteristics of each fruit,” Cesar said about the bars. “We respect the fruit.”

The Coconut Joy bar is infused with pieces of coconut meat from whole, fresh coconuts. Mango Madness has the stringy consistency that is familiar to mangos, and the Strawberry Bliss is jam-packed with Vitamin C.

But the bar that seems to be growing in popularity is Yummy Avocado. 

“Last year, avocado-flavored ice cream was a huge trend,” said CeCe Wilck, senior account executive with So Fruitty.

And even through avocados are typically associated with guacamole, in Brazil, it’s a dessert, Cesar said.

It’s hard to get people to try the avocado bar, he said, but once they try it, they love its savory, creamy taste.

Because acquiring fresh fruit every day is a critical part of their business operations, setting up operations in Central Florida seemed like the best idea, Cesar said.

“We use local fruits,” he said. “And in Orlando, it’s summer all year long, so we can have tropical fruits.”

It’s all about producing a healthy product.

“We want families to be comfortable letting their kids one or two bars” Cesar said. “Because they know their kids aren’t having too much sugars.”

 

Contact Brittany Gaines at [email protected].

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