There's a new candy company in town. Pastry chef Marcella Ibarguren has launched Brigabon Candy Co., featuring authentic Brazilian brigadeiros, in Kansas City.
Born in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil, Ibarguren combines her heritage and professional pastry background to create the iconic Brazilian candy.
Brigadeiros, Brazil’s favorite and most traditional sweet treat, have a colorful history. A popular story tells the tale of the handsome Brazilian brigadier, Eduardo Gomes, who was running as a presidential candidate in 1945. As Ibarguren tells it, “He was so handsome that the women campaigning for him began creating these candies and passing them out to voters. They have since remained a classic and iconic Brazilian staple.”
The small round candies are a classic confection enjoyed in Brazil for everything from a special wedding occasion to an everyday office birthday celebration.
Ibarguren, a graduate of the University of Kansas with a degree in marketing/advertising and a master’s degree in corporate finance, chose to pursue her passion for pastry by relocating to New York City to attend the Institute of Culinary Education. Making the most of her time, she spent mornings attending classes and evenings in some of the best pastry kitchens in the city. Ibarguren has spent time with pastry chef Ghaya Oliveira at Boulud Sud, as well as at the critically-acclaimed and award-wining Dominique Ansel Bakery and at Eleven Madison Park, which has won three Michelin stars and was voted one of the World’s 50 Best Restaurants.
Upon returning to Kansas City, Ibarguren has spent time at Natasha’s Mulberry & Mott and Rye in Leawood, Kansas. Inspired by her Brazilian heritage, she decided to begin creating and selling her delectable brigadeiros in Kansas City.
Round and richly sweet, these little confections are made from only the highest quality and natural ingredients of sweetened condensed milk, cocoa powder and butter. No artificial additives are included in Ibarguren’s creations. The ingredients are combined and carefully monitored and stirred, over low heat, until the proper velvety texture is achieved. Once the creamy smooth center is ready, it is then hand-rolled into small spheres, then coated in various textural and flavorful ingredients.
Some of Brigabon Candy Co.'s most popular flavors include chocolate sprinkles; “Crunch” made with rice crisps and chocolate; pistachio, hazelnut; white chocolate; passion fruit; coffee, coconut; and peanut butter cup. A full list of flavors can be found on her upcoming website, which is soon to arrive in August.
You can find Brigabon Candy Co. brigadeiros, beautifully packaged in their black boxes with traditional Brazilian Chita pattern tags, currently being sold at Natasha’s Mulberry & Mott in the Kansas City Country Club Plaza and The Sundry in the Crossroads Arts District. Starting on Sept. 12, you can also find her on Saturdays at the Overland Park Farmers Market through the end of the 2015 season. Ibarguren is also active in participating in local pop-ups, including Bella Patina on First Fridays and Williams-Sonoma.