This February, we’re highlighting black entrepreneurs from our community to share more about their passions, talent, drive, hard work, and continued efforts to realize their entrepreneurial visions with our wider regional audience.
Keyla Nogueira Cook arrived in Pittsburgh in 2012 and brought the flavors of her native Brazil along with her. Her dream was to share those flavors of her roots with her new community.
Cook began cooking for her co-workers, but word of her delicious meals spread rapidly and her orders grew. In addition to working full time, raising a child, and perfecting her English, Cook founded Casa Brasil in 2018, where she is the head chef and co-owner. She aims to mix the traditional flavors of Brazilian cuisine with the inclusivity of different diets. Her restaurant serves vegetarian, vegan, and gluten-free options to accommodate any kind of dietary need.
“My cooking is a true reflection of Brazilian culture combining ingredients and flavors highly influenced by 3 main cuisines: Native & Afro-Brazilian and Portuguese.”
What started as a three-day-a-week pop-up restaurant grew into a permanent establishment in 2019. With the help of over 80 local investors, she secured a liquor license and now offers a full menu of Brazilian cocktails.
Cook wanted to grow her company and reached out to the SBDC for assistance with strategic planning. She participated in a University of Pittsburgh Hispanic Heritage Month panel discussing “Successful Latino Entrepreneurs in Pittsburgh,” and is grateful for the 1-on-1 consulting she received at the SBDC.
If you’re interested in enjoying a meal at Casa Brasil or working with Cook, learn more about her restaurant at casa-brasil.com.