Menbere Aklilu

Former Owner/Restauranteur, Salute E. Vita Ristorante


Biographical Info

Menbere Aklilu, a recipient of the Contra Costa Business Woman of the Year award in 2009, was born in Ethiopia and grew up in Italy, where she worked with family restaurateurs in Rome. She brings her international experience and her own special flair to Salute e Vita Ristorante in Richmond, California.  As a role model in the community, Aklilu gives back by hosting etiquette classes for groups of children who otherwise would not get an opportunity to learn these skills. She serves them a four-course meal, providing a crash course in table manners and life lessons. In addition, Aklilu hosts dinner for the young women of the Delta Academy who do well in school, and finances tuition for some girls to attend Northern Lights School in Oakland, a private school that caters to children who would not be able to attend private school otherwise.

A few years ago, Aklilu began feeding the homeless on Thanksgiving: 300 the first year, 600 the next, and last year, she served 1,300 people, also providing free flu shots and medical checkups. It’s a commitment Aklilu holds close to her heart, because before she came here, she was homeless herself.

Categories: Board of Directors