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(ep 11) Love, travel and balance with Nicole Gates, owner of Lil Greenhouse Grill

Updated: Jul 7, 2020

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I had such a fun conversation with Nicole Gates, co-owner of Lil Greenhouse Grill restaurant in the heart of Historic Overtown, Miami, FL. Just this January Oprah Winfrey recently visited Nicole’s restaurant and listed it as one of her favorite restaurants for Weight Watchers, so she must be doing something right.

Nicole is a proud Black woman, she has an amazing soul food restaurant, she is a daughter, a mom, a media executive, and has lived internationally as an army brat. In this conversation Nicole allowed me to get all up in her business. So we talked about everything including her love life, owning a restaurant, and travel.

Nicole talks about the process her and her son's father Karim Bryant went through to become owners of and keep Lil Greenhouse Grill. Yes, I said her father’s son, no they aren’t in a relationship anymore and yes, I did make sure to talk to her about that. So, you’ll hear how she’s managing that in the dating world.

Although marriage wasn’t in the cards for Nicole and Karim she has learned about love from her mother and step-father. Her mother taught her “if it doesn’t feel right then let it go”. But also through watching her parents' marriage she learned that true commitment, and the importance of making good decisions and sacrifices together are key to relationships.

Nicole was taught to “behave in a way that would make our ancestors proud” by the women in her life. As Black women this is something that most of us are taught by our mothers, godmothers, aunts, grandmothers, etc… However, there seems to be a group of women who have lost this, whose negative actions continue to boost stereotypes of black women in today's society. The “rah rah”, loud and boastful, it’s all about me, attitude. In these times of pain and anger it’s helpful to have a little self and others care. In response to this I mentioned a mindfulness practice that is good to try when you’re aggravated that I learned via an interview on Oprah Winfrey’s show Super Soul Sunday - it was with Buddhist nun Pema Chodron. She teaches you to say “just like me this person/these people are” frustrated, running late, etc… Which allows you to relate to the people around you.

The first place she wants to go when we are able to travel after the coronavirus pandemic is the Bahamas. She wants to volunteer in Freeport to help with the post Hurricane Dorian damage. She also has her eyes on opening a Lil Greenhouse Grill Bahamas. I’m looking forward to my menu suggestions conch and grits. Nicole’s favorite international destination is Italy, for the food, spirituality, and the fashion. She enjoys Rome and Venice. Nicole says Italian women remind her of African American women, they are carrying and want to make sure you’re fed.

To stay balanced, Nicole believes it is necessary to take time to intentionally breathe. This helps her to talk to God. Nicole has learned the importance of going to God for advice rather than going to others. And she values keeping positive energy around her.

Nicole’s question for women- “What makes YOU happy?” And she hopes the answer doesn’t have anything to do with children or your partner. “I think it’s so necessary that we know deep down inside, inherently, what makes us happy.”

How does she define a woman- “Just lovely - strength, courage, adaptability.”

This episode is sponsored by the Southeast Park West Overtown CRA. Lil Greenhouse Grill is a grantee of the CRA more info is available in their 2018 Annual Report:

CLICK HERE to watch the live unedited version of the interview on GetVokl

Stay in touch with Nicole and Lil Greenhouse Grill

Lil Greenhouse Grill

1300 NW 3rd Ave Miami, FL 33136

(786) 277-3582


Where to find Erica and Collective Drift:

Click HERE to make sure that you get our upcoming episodes!

Southeast Overtown/Park West CRA

Mentioned in this episode:

The Collective Drift platform was created by Erica Knowles to celebrate all women, the beauty of their cultures, and international travel experiences. I believe that women possess magic, that gives them strength and grace to change the world. We learn how to tap into our power in various ways based on our cultural backgrounds and our journeys. Join me and an amazing collective of multicultural, multiethnic, and multigenerational women that are artists, cultural leaders and travel enthusiasts as they tell their stories about their culture, their tribe of women, their passions, their art, and their favorite international experiences. Welcome to Collective Drift.

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