“I am always grateful to have a business; sometimes it still seems like a dream.”
Originally from Brazil, the land of cacao, Edis Rezende began her journey in business in 2002. She started by making her signature truffles for friends, one of which was a caterer who would place orders for his clients. And then more and more orders started rolling in as word of mouth spread. After the initial taste of success, she saw the potential to branch out and began selling at the Austin Farmer's Market on Saturdays. There, she quickly attracted a following of fellow sweets-lovers and realized that her passion could become a full-time business. The Farmer’s Market was a special place to start, as she also met one of the people who encouraged her to open her own shop, and would later become her realtor. She thought about it for a month before deciding to go for it, but soon enough, she made the leap and opened the brick-and-mortar chocolate shop we all know and love, in northwest Austin in 2011.
Edis emigrated from Brazil over 30 years ago, where she also enjoyed baking for friends and family. “I had a natural curiosity about chocolate and all that could be created with this sensual fruit.” She brings in many ingredients and
flavors from her homeland, but Brazilian desserts are by no means all they do. From Italian cookies to French croissants, Edis loves to infuse the local Austin food scene with the best of world cultural treats and has always been committed to sourcing the highest quality ingredients. Truffles, although messy, are still her favorite desserts to make. They’re delicious but they also allow for lots of creativity with flavors and fillings.
When Edis started out, she didn't know much about owning a business at the time.“The most difficult time was when the pandemic hit. It was such a surprise to experience a time that was unprecedented, with nothing to compare to or how to predict what was about to happen. I am grateful to God for blessing me with patience and resilience… I've learned that there will be different seasons, but to never give up and maintain a positive approach when hard times are on the horizon.” One of the other challenges she cited was the difficulty of having to wear many hats as a business owner, but despite these hurdles, she has several plans for the future of Edis Chocolates & Bakery. One that has been on her mind lately is opening another store, a larger space with seating for customers to enjoy spending time with friends over her treats – a place for the community to gather. When asked about her advice to others starting out on their business journey and the most important things she’s learned from running her own business, Edis advised to pay attention to how you spend your money, learn everything you can about your business, and do your research. “Have goals, strive to reach them, and be consistent and resilient.”
The business has since become a family affair. Her daughter, Livia Rezende, graduated from UT Austin with a Nutritional Sciences and a Master's in Integrative & Holistic Nutrition from INN and has now become her right-hand woman, helping her grow the business. When the mother-daughter duo isn't at the shop creating and serving delicious desserts, they’re likely found traveling to gather new flavors and ideas for recipes. Edis describes the creation of her recipes as a combination of research and trial and error and finds inspiration in chocolate and desserts in themselves, “I have a passion for chocolate and love the possibility to create and showcase decadent desserts and pastries.” She draws additional inspiration from recipes she finds online, in magazines, and in French cookbooks, always thinking of how she could improve upon them.
“I'd like to say that my career chose me. Making chocolates and pastries has always been a delight and hobby for me. Suddenly, it blossomed into a business. I am so grateful to be working on something I love and am so passionate about. To this day, I feel as if it is a hobby.”