In what part of town do you live?
I’ve been in Pinecrest for about 12 years. We moved from Virginia to Miami, but originally, my husband and I are from Brazil.
What originally brought you from Virginia to Miami?
When we moved to the United States, we went to Atlanta, Georgia first. My husband worked in a multinational company in Brazil that had a headquarters in Atlanta. When we initially moved to there, I went back to school to get a master’s degree, and eventually got a job in a public university there. I worked there for five years in person and then moved to Miami, I thought I would quit and find another job here, but they had some job opportunities that were a hundred percent remote, so I applied and started working remotely about 12 years ago.
Would you share a little about your job?
I’m a mathematician and I have a business degree from Atlanta. I do data analytics and financial analysis for the university. I use programming to extract different data from the system we use.
What kind of data do you work with?
It could be any data, it could be payroll, it could be student enrollment, it could be financial information, payments, billing, student behavior in terms of, classes they take. I take that data and make it useful information for making decisions.
What was it about this university that made you want to stay with them after relocating to Miami?
I really like the industry. Prior to working in higher education, my job experience was mostly corporate. I feel passionate about education and liking the final product makes it even more enjoyable. We are a research university, so great things are coming from professors and students. Although I’m not participating directly in the research, I’m in the administrative portion supporting the final product – so, I’m kind of proud to be involved.
What do you like about math?
When I was little, math problems for me looked like little puzzles. It was fun for me to find an answer. I also like the fact that you can use the data to tell a story and forecast the future using trend analysis. Regardless of the process that you used to get to a result, the result is usually the same as long as you’re putting in the right content. So two people might use different processes, but they’ll both get to the same results. I like this black and white aspect of math.
At what point did you decide to make Math a career?
In Brazil, you have to choose your career very early on. In the US, you have the option of going into a university with an array of degrees that you can choose as you’re taking courses. In Brazil, I had just turned 17 when I graduated from high school. I think my love of math came from the teachers that I had throughout elementary and high school. In the last year of high school, I was struggling to decide what to do. I found out that not many people would graduate with a math degree and there was a need for mathematicians.
When I was designing jewelry in New York, we had a mathematician on staff who would analyze sales data and give us design feedback. I was fascinated. Do you find people are open to data?
My oldest ,who is 13, was telling me recently that he is very good in math, but doesn’t see where it applies. I think it’s a very common question we have in school. If we don’t see the application, it’s hard to really like it. Nowadays, everybody’s talking about vaccine efficacy. It’s a calculation, but you can also take it out of context and make it sound different. For example, if you have a100 people and 99 of them are vaccinated. One of them is not vaccinated and two people get COVID. Someone might say, 50% of the people who got COVID were vaccinated. This is an example of like taking the data or taking the numbers out of context and make it sound something different. It’s important for you to filter the information that you get or understand the information that is coming through.
Do you get excited by data? Do you share with your family discoveries in data that you analyze during the day?
Always. My husband is always teasing me. I’ll stay late trying to find 50 cents difference in a million dollar pot. When I see that zero, I have a feeling of accomplishment.
What interests do you enjoy outside of work?
I have a 13 year old and a nine year old. Usually after work, my time is with them. This past year and a half, I’ve been taking long walks with my oldest, and we talk about everything. He’s very interested in knowing what happened during the day at my job. He has lots to say. The little one will want to play outside, show me a trick swimming in the pool. And, I love reading. I really like thriller novels, memoirs, and real life stories. My Kindle was the best purchase that I made during the pandemic. I found out that you can borrow books online from the library.
You have been visiting us regularly at the drive-thru. What’s that been like?
We found you at the Pinecrest market. We made it a routine almost every weekend. I started telling friends about it, and so it became a meeting point and we would always look forward to Sundays. I’ve been following via the newsletters that you had opened this drive through, which is not that close to my house anymore. But I like that one-on-one time where we drive together and come back. Sometimes we meet friends at your store who live close by, and we’ll do what we used to do in Pinecrest market, hanging out in the parking lot by your stand.
Which products do you get when you come?
I like to try the new things. I think you guys are very creative. I bought a big pack of lychees this year and put it in the freezer like you suggested. I told my husband about it and the first one he ate, he said, ‘I don’t know how we never thought about that.’ That’s the best thing. It’s like an ice cream, and prevents them from going bad. I tried Turmeric cookies, which I would never have thought about that combination. I think something that you guys offer that you probably don’t even realize is offering people a new relationship with food. I think it’s because you guys are very open and always smiling. I think the fact that you guys are always experimenting and trying to come up with new things, encourages people to try whatever you guys are offering.
What other restaurants or businesses do you all love that you can recommend?
It’s one of our favorite questions, and one of the reasons why I read your newsletters. Although we haven’t been to restaurants forever, my oldest really likes Los Ranchos at the Falls. Also Sapore Di Mare in the Grove. It’s a tiny restaurant, and sometime we’ll pick it up and bring it home. We’ve been very cautious and avoiding crowds. So, we go a lot to outside places. We go to Matheson Hammock and Fairchild, and Coral Reef Park a lot.
What is Miami’s best kept secret?
The bike paths that we have around Miami. Going from Pinecrest Gardens to Coco plum circle is very nice. And, a lot of people don’t know about the Chinese Bridge.
What for you as a worthy splurge?
Travel for sure. It gives me great joy when my boys talk about a trip that we took together, and they remember something, even a small thing about a trip or something someone said in a different language or something that we saw that was different from what we usually see here. It doesn’t need to even be overseas. We recently went to Marco Island to spend a week. The boys talk about the animals and nature that we saw.
What community groups or events or philanthropic groups are important to you and your family that you might like to promote or share?
We usually help the Chabbad in Kendall. I think they offer great free events. They have a friendship circle where they partner kids with special needs with other kids. They do field trips together, music activities, and promote social interaction. We usually give to them and the Miami Jewish Federation as well.
Is there a question you would like to ask us?
(KM) How did you come up with the rainbow smoothie? Is that an idea that you guys came up with or did you see it somewhere?
(A+W) It wasn’t the result of data analysis. It kind of happened on it’s own. First, people started ordering two of our smoothies, then three, and finally we saw how stunning the cups were and changed the menu to rainbows. And, we realized that changing the focus from weird tropical fruits to ‘just colors’, encouraged way more people and kids to try our smoothies. It got rid of any fear of trying something new.
(KM) Well, I’ll be cheering for you guys to grow and be able to offer more things.