Campinas is a smaller town in the interior of São Paulo state. This region is home to many of the large factories for companies such as Unilever, Proctor and Gamble, Natura and IBM. The area has grown a lot on recent years and many new residential neighborhoods have sprouted. Shopping malls came right after (or maybe even before). Campinas is also home to one of Brazil’s tops universities – Unicamp.
Despite this greatly educated population (and significant expat community), it’s very hard to find cultural outlets in Campinas and street side coffee shops (aside from Starbucks). After many searches, I have managed to locate an exquisitely cute coffee shop called Maria Antonieta (the portuguese version of Maria Antoinette), that is decorated in the spirit of those times and serves beautifully sculpted cakes and other baked goodies.
The lesson learned here is that there is ALWAYS an alternative to Starbucks.