This is the story of how two cousins, Peter Valerio and Andre Ferro, decided to bring great Brazilian coffee to the people of the United States.
The father of Andre Ferro, Demetrio Ferro, started working for Olavo Barbosa, known as the King of Coffee, at the age of 12 helping in the warehouses. By the age of 15 he was working directly with the coffee.
Demetrio Ferro worked as the General Manager of the Top 5 Exporter of coffee in Brazil, Exportadora de café Guaxupe. He worked his entire career of 53 years for this wonderful company.
Olavo Barbosa with Demetrio Ferro and his wife, Maria Helena (Andre’s parents). Maria Helena Gonzales Ferro and Peter’s mother, Regina Antonio Gonzales Valerio, are sisters.
Andre and Peter, founders of Sao Pedro Café, grew up playing hide and seek at this warehouse. There are a series of warehouses in Guaxupe that can store up to one million 2-ton bags of coffee for exportation.
Andre Ferro started working in the coffee industry at the age of 15 also. He prepared the quality control tasting tables.
Andre Ferro and his father, Demetrio Ferro. Andre learned how to roast coffee working with his father at the coffee company. He learned to separate the beans by type and by quality.
This gentleman taught Andre how to taste the coffee for quality. It is an art.
From 1991 forward, Andre has worked in Quality Control departments for a variety of companies.
Andre became certified as a Quality Grader at the age of 37. He had been working as a Quality Grader since the age of 18 but received his official certification at the age of 37.
In 1999 Andre moved to Manhuaçu, Brazil to manage the Department of Quality for Exportadora de Cafe Guaxupe. The economy of the Manhuaçu is based on the production and processing of mountain coffee. There are also storage facilities for about one million sacks of coffee in Manhuaçu. The region harvests about 1.5 million sacks of coffee a year.
In 2001 Andre began mediating between coffee farmers and Illy Caffe, finding and selecting the desired high quality coffee for a fair price.
In 2004 Andre went to work for Olam Company in Santos, Brazil, also managing their Department of Quality. The discerning palates of the Q-graded cuppers and procurement teams help buyers locate exceptional coffees for the right price.
In 2006 Andre went to work for Illy Caffé again in the Quality Control Department and in Commercial Trade. He traveled to all coffee regions of Brazil to find coffee for Illy Caffe specialty blends.
In 2010 Andre moved to the Louis Dreyfus Company in quality control. During Andre’s time there, the Quality Control team grew the exportation of the company from 500,000 bags to over 1.5 million 120 pound bags annually.
In 2015 Andre started his own company, Comercio e Exportacion Sao Pedro de Unaio, buying, grading, and selling green beans. He purchased a warehouse for buying, grading, and selling green coffee beans. He planted a seed in his cousin Peter’s mind that he should consider importing coffee to the USA because he had the ability to gather the best beans in the region.
In December of 2018 Cheri and Peter traveled to Brazil and visited with Andre and Uncle Demetrio. We learned about coffee and toured the coffee farms. Peter lived with the Ferro family from the ages of 16-18 and worked at a coffee company in Guaxupe, Brazil also. We reminisced of family and coffee stories.
It was such a pleasure touring the farms and learning about the various kinds and qualities of coffee beans. It was neat to see how they are grown, harvested, and sorted by size and grade. It is exciting to share this process with you and bring great quality beans to the USA from Brazil.
We shipped 13 tons of coffee, roasting machines, and equipment to the USA. By June of 2020, the warehouse gas, electrical, plumbing, painting, and decorating was complete. The roasting equipment was officially installed, the permits were obtained, and the branding and labels were ready to begin roasting and sampling coffee in Lakewood Ranch, FL.
Come visit the Sampling Room at the Sao Pedro Café Warehouse. See the computerized roasting process, savor the sweet smells, enjoy a sample cup, and take home a pound of coffee roasted by Andre just for you! See if our coffee is right for your business, café, restaurant, or retail customers.