Lili Da Silva was born in São Paulo, Brazil, to a modest, hardworking family. She grew up in and around the kitchen cooking with her mother, aunts, and grandmother who emparted their culinary secrets and techniques to her at an early age. Lili loved spending time with them, preparing meals, and gathering together as a family. Lili always had a passion for cooking, but growing up poor, also aspired to attend University with hopes of getting a well-paying job to help lift her family out of poverty.
Despite the many challenges and hurdles that came with being a poor girl in Brazil, through hard work and perseverance, Lili made her dream a reality, earning a scholarship to attend FMP University. After graduating with her bachelor’s degree, Lili went on to attend one of the top ranking business schools in Brazil, where she later earned a master’s degree. Lili was hired on as a project manager for a large mining company where her dreams of financial stability became a reality. However, as time progressed, the excitement began to fade. Every day, Lili witnessed destruction and environmental degradation, which had a profound influence on her life. It was at that time she realized her true calling to foster health, wellness, and sustainable solutions. So Lili left her project manager position and traveled to the United States looking for a new opportunity.
During this process, Lili encountered the greatest challenges she’d ever experienced: learning a new language, going through a divorce, experiencing homelessness, grieving the death of her father, and more. But it was these experiences that taught her to trust in God, who gave her the strength to overcome. Through it all, Lili kept her focus and determination,so when God blessed her with opportunities, she was ready.
Lili first started a nonprofit organization called Seeds of Love; a school of arts and lifestyle change with a mission to empower families to have loving, healthy, and happy relationships with themselves, others, and the environment. While operating this nonprofit, Lili paid the bills by utilizing her cooking skills as a personal chef, catering events and selling food at the local markets. She began to build a reputation around town for her unique style of cooking that focused on healthy, fresh, organic, and locally sourced ingredients. As she got busier, Lili began to have trouble keeping up with the demand. She needed a solution, and through a series of fortunate events, Lili's Brazilian Bistro was born.
Lili decided that opening her restaurant was the best way she could combine her culinary gifts with giving back to her family, friends, and community by offering healthy, organic, uniquely Brazilian food with a focus on sustainability. Her business model is as unique as her food in the sense that she tries to reuse, recycle, and repurpose everything she can. Lili hand-delivers her food waste to the local community garden compost every day. She also hand-delivers all of reusable packaging back to her vendors. Bottles and cans go to the recycling company and her leftover cooking oil gets stored and is collected to be repurposed into biodiesel. Her to-go containers and utensils are biodegradable. All together, these efforts have greatly reduced the amount of waste produced by the bistro. Lili sources her ingredients locally whenever possible to support the community as well as cut down on packaging and reduce the bistro’s carbon footprint.
Lili’s goal of fostering health and wellness is lived every day through her relationships and daily interactions with my customers. When looking back on her life and all the challenges she had to overcome, she is ever grateful to have this opportunity. Lastly, Lili’s Brazilian Bistro owes a great deal of its success to Lili’s partner, Ryan, and her wonderful staff. Thank you for your support. God Bless.