Carlosmagnum Nunes is the owner of Araruana Cachaçaria, an e-commerce store selling cachaça in Brasilia. He is also the producer of Meia Noite Cachça, which he released in January of this year. In addition, I am partnering with Carlos to put on virtual cachaça tastings for foreigners living in Brasilia.
His start in cachaça was relatively recent, but he’s taken off like a rocket and has big plans for the near and long-term. I got a chance to ask him a few questions about his work thus far, and what his hopes are for the future.
1. Tell me a little about your background, where are you from and how was your career before entering the cachaça industry?
I was born in Montes Claros, MG, a city in the interior of Minas Gerais that is between the regions of Salinas and Januária, producers of the best cachaças in Brazil. I am a lawyer by training, I studied Law and Economics, and I specialize in the area of Medical Law. I started advocacy in administrative defense and, in Brasília, I became the legal manager of an important office in Lago Sul. In short, this was my career until I entered the cachaça industry.
2. What experiences did you have when you were younger with the cachaça that made your interest grow?
As a child from the interior of Minas, it was common to visit distilleries to drink sugarcane juice, called garapa. But, until I was 24 years old I did not consume alcohol. I was aware of it, of course, but never drank. My interest arose after that period, when I started collecting cachaças while travelling around Brazil, often for work. Since then I have been tasting more and more, in bars, restaurants, at home and on festive occasions. That was when I discovered how rich cachaça is.
3. You opened Araraúna Cachacaria a little over a year ago. What made you decide you wanted to open the cachaçaria?
At the end of 2019 I needed to create an enterprise that had my DNA, my face. As I already had a large collection of cachaças, I noticed that most people do not know what this wonderful drink really is: they do not know its history, they often reject it, and they even have prejudice against it. So, I decided to build Ararauna based on this concept: teaching people what cachaça is!
4. What have you learned since the store opened?
Since our first sale we have learned that there is a very long way to go for the appreciation of cachaça in Brazil. There is a need to institutionalize the cachaceiro sector and to convince the Brazilian consumer of its value. Despite the cachaça is one of the most consumed drinks in the world, Brazilians still don't appreciate it. One of the most important lessons is the partnerships we have entered into with other players in the market, so that together we can bring cachaça to more people.
5. You recently launched a new brand of cachaça, Meia Noite. Have you always wanted to have your own brand?
I never imagined having my own cachaça. The idea came up last year (2020) when we realized that Brasília lacked a cachaça linked with its identity. And we decided to launch the brand as a birthday present to Ararauna.
6. The current Meia Noite is silver, but do you have plans to include other types of cachaça in your brand?
With the name Midnight it will be just silver, classic. We have projects for other cachaças. But, each one will be marketed under a different name, however, preserving the Ararauna brand.
7. In addition to these two ventures, you are also opening a small physical store with three other cachaça producers in Brasília. What made you decide to work with other producers?
Everything we built this year was through partnerships. That was how we gained credibility. As we were already selling cachaças from Brasília and the nearby area, I noticed that there was a need to create a regional identity. This is because, each one maintained the same objective, but with scattered actions. So, with many conversations and support from them, we managed to bring them together for one project that will enhance all of them.
8. What is the most important thing you learned in the last year about the cachaça industry?
We learned that the most important thing is to build solid and transparent partnerships. In addition, greater internal investment is needed to promote cachaça.
9. Do you have any other projects that you can talk about at the moment?
In partnership with Cachaça for Gringos we have Cachaça Tasting for Gringos, a virtual tasting environment, for the time being, which brings knowledge about cachaça exclusively to foreigners residing in Brasilia.
10. How do you think your various businesses will be in one year? And what do you hope to do in five years?
In a year I believe that we will be more solid and capitalized. We hope that next year more people will learn about our work in favor of cachaça and become a reference in the Central West Region of Brazil. Five years from now, our plan is to have our own distillery, preferably in Brasília, continuing the strategies we have set up.