Patty (me) is the founder and creator of Vitalo, and before I tell you how it was born, I'd like to tell you about me!
Blast From The Past...
I'm the daughter of Lebanese immigrants, born, raised and thriving in Australia. My parents came from a harsh life, although surrounded by family and love, also by war and fear. Australia became their place of freedom and safe haven to raise a family, as well as take advantage of the amazing opportunities that came with hard (hard, hard, hard) work.
My parents worked 7 days a week, 13 hours a day for roughly 20 years in a corner shop which they built into a thriving supermarket/florist in 'The Shire'. They were able to give my brother and I everything they had missed out on as children and more, and because we lived on the same premises as their corner shop, we had a strong bond as a family unit as well.
No sooner had they slowed down in their work, I got married at age 20. By 30 I had 3 children (2 girls and a boy) and by age 36, I was separated from my husband. 🙁
It was a very tough time for me and my family, in fact, probably the hardest thing I have had to endure. At the time, I felt like my life as I knew it lay shattered at my feet, and I didn't know what to do. What purpose did I have if I wasn't a wife? What kind of person doesn't have the traditional 'family unit'? WHO AM I??
Through the strength of my father, the nurturing of my mother and the guidance of my brother, I found 'Patty' again! #blessed !!!
The Journey To Self-Discovery...
My journey of self discovery led me to food (of course!) but also an interest in health and fitness. I loved reading about different diets, health benefits of foods, hormonal effects of certain chemicals and seeing the transformation in my own body. I became a little obsessed with exercise, mainly lifting heavy weights and kickboxing. I also became obsessed with Pete Evans (not just for his good looks!) because of his knack of turning nutritiously dense food into flavour explosions!
Hence the discovery of 'Paleo' food. No, it's not a naughty word! It's not even that controversial. My interpretation is WHOLEfoods, minus the inflammatory stuff. So, for me, no grains (mainly wheat), no refined sugar and very limited dairy. Another interpretation is LCHF (Low Carb Healthy Fat), which means you reduce your carb intake and increase fat intake, thereby promoting better cognitive function, body fat reduction and hormonal balance.
After feeling trapped and disheartened in the corporate workforce, I craved human connection and felt the need to spread the word about the health benefits of eating REAL food.
Vitalo Was Born
I toyed with a few ideas, did extensive research, and was then given the amazing opportunity to transform 621 Port Hacking Rd, Lilli Pilli into VITALO!!! In case you don't know, the word 'Vitalo' was made up by myself and Glen Campbell from Brandheart. Vitality means life, energy, spirit and 'alo' is latin for nourish. Vitalo = nourish the life force!
Again, my family have been paramount in bringing this dream to fruition, by providing the premises for Vitalo and the guidance and experience required to run a small business.
So, here we are, on the brink of changing Lilli Pilli forever! I can't tell how excited I am to have you in MY cafe! It will be a place of warmth, nurturing, beauty, nourishment and possibly education. It is a place where I will share my heart with you, and I hope you will feel it. This is my dream, my goal and I will do my absolute best to bring it!