These three amazing young sisters operate their own vegan eatery in Florida

Ama Nunoo September 01, 2020
Bourne Brilliant is run by the Leo sisters Photo: VegNews

Perspective is everything if you want to succeed in life because the way you perceive any situation will determine your next move. If you choose to be pessimistic, you will perceive things as always falling to pieces, however, being optimistic gets you going even in hard times. The global pandemic may have caused a lot of havoc, but it has also given many individuals the room to be extra creative.

Three sisters from Florida have opened a Black youth owned vegan café — Bourne Brilliant in Tallahassee. The eatery is run by Lyrica (13), Zaira (12), and Nadira (9) Leo who, regardless of the downturn of things for many during the pandemic, took their chances to establish a brick and mortar location for their business.

The Leo sisters have put safety measures in place as they always wear masks and to avoid overcrowding, they allow only five customers who are mandated to wear masks in the shop at a time. Even though Lyrica has an immune disorder, they believe opening their business was timely.

“We felt positive about the decision to open at this time,” La Shae told media outlet Tallahassee Democrat. “We traveled in South Carolina and Georgia this summer and looked at small businesses and retail to see what they were doing and what was working for them. We feel good about our safety practices.”

The trio started their food business years ago with a $50 loan from their father, Jahlion Leo. Their mother Syrheda La Shae and Tallahassee chef Shacafrica Simmons, who has mentored the sisters for years, also gave them the needed support.

Before getting their own place, selling food at the farmers’ market, local festivals and events was their thing. They also donated some of the food to their needy classmates and to homeless shelters or as their mom would say, anyone that needed food.

At Bourne Brilliant, the girls serve plant-based foods and baked goodies like cupcakes, cookies, and bread, along with herbal teas, fresh fruit juices, and preserves. There is an option for hot dishes on a rotating menu every Saturday.

Consumers can get meals such as Caribbean vegetable calloo, vegan barbecue drumsticks, curry noodle soup, tabbouleh and mac and cheese. The prices are reasonable, and these sisters offer combo hot meal packages. “A choice of one protein with one starch and one vegetable for $10, or two proteins with one starch and one vegetable for $14,” reports VegNews.

Their commitment to running the business and their work ethics are impeccable. They have been attending Tallahassee School of Arts and Sciences in Tallahassee for the past three years but might take virtual classes this fall. They wake up at 6 a.m. every day and during school, they bake and cook before and after class.

Their mother, La Shae, has helped the sisters harness their own skills which they bring to the table to run their business.

According to VegNews, “Lyrica enjoys cooking and is the head chef, Zaira is good with numbers and helps work on finances and inventory, while Nadira helps set up the shop and makes sure the shelves are stocked.”

The shop is legally leased by their parents, but the girls are committed to the work they do at Bourne Brilliant which has been recognized by different outfits and won several awards.

In February, they were honored by The Oasis Center for Women & Girls at the 2020 Trailblazers awards. While promoting a plant-based diet, they mostly use paper packaging.

The Leo sisters are the youngest members of the Big Bend Minority Business Chamber of Commerce and the Capital City Chamber of Commerce, according to La Shae.

Do not judge their professionalism by their ages. The sisters are very business-oriented; they know their job and are very friendly with all their customers.

Last Edited by:Mildred Europa Taylor Updated: September 1, 2020


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