Maria Dalva Couto Mendonça, well known in Brazil as “Dona Dalva” was born in 1942 in a small farm in Bom Despacho, countryside of Minas Gerais.
Her memories of a calm and delightful life are still present, such as the traditional recipes prepared in a special wood stove.
When she was 17, Maria Dalva got married and had 4 children. She built a happy family life at Fazenda Três Barras, on the side of Prata river.
Nevertheless, in 1973, she got the biggest shock a family can experience. Maria Dalva was 31 and became a widow, having 4 small children to raise. So, just like many women, she went to work, and worked hard, always with her feet in the present and her mind in the future.
In 1990, Maria Dalva and her children Helder and Helida started Forno de Minas, in Belo Horizonte, Minas Gerais. They were pioneer in producing this handmade recipe that spreads happiness around: the famous Pão de Queijo created by Dona Dalva.
In 1991, the company was transferred to Contagem, also in Minas Gerais. Then it started a large prosperity cycle, taking the gastronomy of Minas Gerais all over Brazil and the world.
In 1995, seeking for perfect and high quality ingredients to their Pão de Queijo, Forno de Minas started producing their own cheese, in their dairy industry, located in Conceição do Pará, countryside of Minas Gerais.
With all the success of their recipe, the company was sold to a multinational company in 1999.
In 2009, the company came back to the family, and the Pão de Queijo recipe had received all the attention of Dona Dalva again.
Now, in 2020, Forno de Minas is celebrating 30 years with an even more special recipe of this traditional delicacy made in Minas Gerais, that is to present in Brazilian homes and also abroad, in more than 18 countries!