Alessandra Zurek and daughter Martina of D'Lite in Key Biscayne, Fla.
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Tell us about yourself:

I am Alessandra Zurek, originally from Barranquilla, Colombia. Today I proudly call Key Biscayne my home. I am a dedicated mother to Martina. I’m a fashion designer, and most of you know me as the owner and operator of D’lite Bistro & Bakery.

What inspired you to become a restaurateur, and how did your journey lead you to where you are today?

My passion for hospitality drew me to the aspect of opening up a restaurant, enjoying the opportunity to provide excellent service and create memorable dining experiences for customers.

Can you share some of the challenges you’ve faced in the restaurant industry, and how have you overcome them?

My journey embodies resilience and determination, navigating the hospitality business with grace through its ups and downs. After COVID, there were many challenges with staff turnover and supply chain issues. Luckily, these issues have normalized, and because of my strong local following, I have remained open.

In what ways does your restaurant contribute to and engage with the local community?

We try to go beyond mere dining. We want to be a beacon of culinary excellence and community engagement. I achieve this through hosting quarterly fashion bazaars featuring local vendors, offering outdoor fitness classes on the terrace, and organizing charity events for children in Colombia and Venezuela. I foster a sense of belonging and growth within my community.

Can you share some advice for aspiring entrepreneurs?

I like emphasizing the importance of self-belief, mentorship, and building a strong support network. Thinking always outside of the box and offering delivery, catering services, and community discounts. An example of engagement are promotions like our $10 student lunch special. Parents love  that their children are eating healthy for a bargain price.

As a woman in a demanding industry, how do you balance your professional and personal life?

Balancing the demands of my career with the joys of motherhood is challenging. I have learned that by prioritization, delegation, and self-care, I am ensuring harmony in my multifaceted life.

Tell us what you enjoy the most in your day-to-day operation?

When Martina joins me at the restaurant after school and gives me a helping hand around the business. She likes to place orders, serve the tables, and at times when busy make deliveries in Key Biscayne. I really enjoy this because it is teaching my daughter a valuable life lesson that with hard work, anything is possible.

Can you share some of your favorite dishes on the menu, and do you have any signature creations that embody your culinary style?

I have a few favorite dishes. The signature tropical bowl which has salmon, coconut rice, almonds, kale, spinach, avocado, homemade dressing. Secondly, the Alexotica pizza (named after my activewear line) is made gluten-free with cauliflower crust, mozzarella cheese, goat cheese, peppers, red onion, kalamata olives, arugula, and crispy prosciutto. Lastly, my famous “Crazy Monkey” smoothie which is a great source of protein with banana, peanut butter, cocoa, coffee, and almond milk. Each dish reflects my passion for creating unforgettable culinary experiences yet healthy and tasty.

What is your philosophy on life?

It is simple: cherish each moment. In a fast-paced world, I remind myself to embrace the present and savor every experience along the way.

What is your favorite quote?

“Your life is happening now, live it!”

Development Director at Miami Fourth Estate

YESENIA RANDAZZO is the development director for Miami Fourth Estate and strong supporter of community powered, nonprofit journalism.

YESENIA RANDAZZO is the development director for Miami Fourth Estate and strong supporter of community powered, nonprofit journalism.