Behind the bright green doors of 201 North Weber Avenue is a whole new cultural experience for Sioux Falls diners.

Co-owner and Chef Jamie Grogan and Co-owner Mark Gillespie

Co-owners Mark and Kaila Gillespie, Tania and Kelly Grogan, and chef Jamie Grogan wanted to bring something new and unique to their home city.

Opening in April of 2022, Roots of Brasil transports guests from an industrial city to a tropical haven.

The Brazilian restaurant is a family affair. Alongside the Gillespie and Grogan family is the help from Kaila and Jamie’s sister, Melissa (by creating desserts), and their niece, Simone.

After Mark and Kaila sold their previously owned business, Kaladi’s Bistro, they never anticipated stepping back into the restaurant business.

That was until Kaila spotted a vacant room attached to the event space, Convolo, at work, and discovered the potential the space had. Mark recalls that within the hour of Kaila sharing her idea, the family was scoping the building.

“We loved the space,” explained Mark. “We knew it was cool, unique, and is a historic part of downtown.”


Most languages will have their own adaptations to foreign nations’ names.

“Brasil” = Portugeuse
“Brazil” = English

Mark says that Roots of Brasil presents a relaxed and cool atmosphere while capturing their Brazilian family’s background heritage as cattle ranchers.

“We wanted to stay true and pay homage to that, but we also wanted to tie in that tropical beach vibe as well,” explained Mark.




Two sweet corn cobs, cilantro, cotija, chili, and crema.


Shrimp, scallops, and mussels with garlic and Portuguese white wine, lime, and fresh herbs.



Sunnyside egg, lettuce, tomato, cheese, corn, peas, house made pickles, house salsa rosada, and batata palha.


Bacon, lettuce, tomatoes, corn, ham, cheese, batata palh, and house salsa rosada.



Fresh herbs, onions, coconut milk, greens, mushrooms, and parmigiano reggiano.


Bacon cheddar grits, cilantro, hearts of palm, avocado, spinach, sunnyside egg, and gastrique.


Portuguesa (Gene-Baldo) 

Red sauce, ham, onions, black olives, mozzarella, catupiry, eggs, and fresh oregano.


White sauce, chicken, ham, hearts of palm, cheese, corn, catupiry, green olives, and mozzarella.



Grilled romaine heart, black olives, parmesan flakes, tomato, bacon, drizzled with blue ceasar.


Traditional soup with potatoes, sausage, and greens.

With vibrant blue walls, tropical plants, Brazilian-made hammocks, mementos, and photos from Brazil, the restaurant delivers an unforgettable experience.

“We wanted to be different and take someone away and make them feel like they’re not in Sioux Falls,” said Mark.

“If you’ve traveled to Brazil then walk in here, you will find some elements or memories of the Brasilian beaches.” – Jamie Grogan

Throughout the main level, floor tiles mimic the black-and-white wave pattern on Copacabana Beach in Rio de Janeiro.

“I think we take you somewhere,” said Jamie. “We definitely transfer you to some elements of Brazil.”

The eccentric space welcomes guests to expand their paletes and try a unique menu of Jamie’s and Tania’s recipes.

One of the most popular items is the Gaucho Fries with Mandicoa (an edible root similar to a potato) covered in Brazilian sausage, house- made chipotle aioli, cheese, and green onions.

Other favorites include Caribbean Chicken (Jerk Chicken) with two boneless thighs served with rice and black beans, vinaigrette, and collard greens, and the Red Snapper with lightly-dusted fried whole Snapper, lemon, capers, and fresh herbs, served with rice and black-eyed peas.

Red snapper


Family photos from the Grogan family’s ranch line the wall of the family room, featuring a large dining table built by Mark Gillespie’s brother.

Portuguesa (Gene-Baldo) pizza

Mark states that the Red Snapper has become a popular must-have.

“It’s a showstopper, and everyone who orders it loves it,” he said.

Each dish is carefully curated by Jamie and his team to truly represent Brazil and its cuisine.

“Brazil is a little underrated in the culinary scene,” expressed Jamie. “For one, they’re the biggest melting pot in the world. And two, the diversity in their food is immense.”

With culinary dishes ranging from Italian to Japanese to African, these cultures’ cuisine has been combined together over the years, according to Jamie.

“With our roots of Brazil and the way it’s set up, we feel like we can reach different genres of eatery through the diversity of the country,” he said.

“I couldn’t ask for a better culinary team and chef in Jamie than what we have.” – Mark Gillespie

Jamie believes that food can take you anywhere and bind you to past memories, and he wants to achieve that with his customers— especially Brazilians.

“I want them to feel like they’re home,” he explained. “I want the food and the experience to take them back to Brazil.”

To acclimate non-natives to Brazilian culture, Jamie strives to adapt their palates to what he and his community are accustomed to.

“I want to try and diversify some of the food in this town to be more culturally driven,” said Jamie.

In the young timespan that the restaurant has been open, the owners have seen a wide variety of patrons come through.

“We’ve seen a little bit of everything from families, to singles, business lunches, after-work beer, and definitely date nights,” said Mark. “We became a sought-out date night location early on.”

Mark describes Roots of Brasil as a memorable destination spot where customers can leave saying, “We have to go back there again.”

Customers are not the only ones who have the experience to soak in Brazilian culture. New and current staff members are immersed in the culture and are always eager to learn more.

“It’s amazing to see how much they know about Brazil now,” smiled Mark. “They continue to tell their friends and family, and it’s cool to keep sharing the concept of Brazil, Brazilian food, and the culture with others.”

In the future, Mark shares that he hopes to continue the growth of downtown Sioux Falls.

“I would love to see our downtown become more unique and get people out of their box,” he explained.

Jamie adds that they want to become the lead on more restaurants introducing their culture’s cuisine to the community.

“We would love to be a part of that growth,” Jamie continued, “and move forward with getting people out of their comfort zones and trying new things.”

For more information, visit ROOTS-OF-BRASIL.BUSINESS.SITE.
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