Brazil

Couple Quits Finance, Wins Brazil’s Top Coffee Prize

Paulo Siqueira and Juliana Armelin, finance professionals who became coffee farmers, pose for a picture at Terra Alta farm in Ibia, Minas Gerais state, Brazil, Oct. 18, 2016. (Courtesy of Terra Alta farm)
Paulo Siqueira and Juliana Armelin, finance professionals who became coffee farmers, pose for a picture at Terra Alta farm in Ibia, Minas Gerais state, Brazil, Oct. 18, 2016. (Courtesy of Terra Alta farm)

SAO PAULO —

It could be a Hollywood screenplay. Juliana Armelin and her husband Paulo Siqueira decided to radically change their lives in 2010, quitting jobs in Sao Paulo’s financial sector and moving to a farm seven hours away to start growing coffee.

Seven years later, they clinched for a second consecutive year Brazil’s most prestigious coffee award, beating hundreds of established producers in a country that has exported coffee for more than 200 years.

“I would never imagine we could reach this status in such a short period,” Siqueira told Reuters on Friday after the couple received the annual award from Italian roaster Illy.

“I used to say that we don’t have a story on coffee, but only some chapters so far,” said Armelin.

The couple met during college, graduating in engineering from Brazil’s top ranked university, USP. They spent some years together in the United States getting Master of Business Administration degrees at the University of Chicago before starting careers in Sao Paulo.

Armelin is a former Mckinsey & Company consultant, while Siqueira held positions as a fund manager at Credit…

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