Café Funchal is Greater New Bedford Small Business of the Year

Providence Business News
By Susan A. Baird, PBN Web Editor

NEW BEDFORD – Café Funchal, a family-owned business established in 1999, has been honored by the New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce and BankFive with the 2008 Greater New Bedford Small Business of the Year Award.
The restaurant and catering business is owned and operated by the DaSilva family.
The food is prepared by José and Lidia DaSilva, who focus on old family recipes and the traditional cuisine of their native Madeira, Portugal. Their sons, Duarte and Luis DaSilva, manage the restaurant’s day-to-day operations, while the couple’s daughter Carla and daughter-in-law Lourdes DaSilva recently joined the family business.
Their restaurant has grown considerably since its beginnings on Acushnet Avenue. The DaSilvas recently relocated, creating an up-to-date restaurant and function hall on Church Street that triples their capacity to 900 people.
The new Café Funchal includes a raw bar, to highlight local seafood, and a glass-enclosed wine cellar, with thousands of bottles of wine from around the world. Its design incorporates ideas from trendy restaurants in New York and Boston.
“The DaSilva family pride themselves on making every guest feel welcome and part of the family,” the Chamber said.
“In addition to helping to revitalize the North End of New Bedford with their investment, the business is also supportive of many local causes,” the group added. “Their contributions include donating hundreds of food platters each year to charity events; contributing thousands [of dollars] each year in gift certificates; and hosting – at cost – an average of one benefit or fundraiser per week for local charities.” The DaSilvas and their restaurant also sponsor two youth soccer teams and a softball team, and are active in local schools.
“They are also a progressive employer, providing health insurance for full-time staff and recognizing employees through programs such as an Employee of the Month award, and annual trips for staff to Six Flags in the summer and an Odyssey Cruise in Boston during the holidays.”
The award was presented last Wednesday at a BankFive-sponsored session of the New Bedford Area Chamber’s “Good Morning SouthCoast!” business breakfast series.
The breakfast also recognized the eight other small businesses that were nominated for the 2008 award: Domino’s Pizza of New Bedford, Fire Systems Inc. of Dartmouth, Medium Studio of New Bedford, Morin & Pepin of Fairhaven, O’Hara Imports of Fairhaven, Paul’s Electric of New Bedford, Stevens Home Improvement of Fairhaven and Whaler’s Cove of New Bedford.
“The selection committee looked for companies [that] have balanced success with a strong commitment to the community,” the Chamber said. Nominees were rated on five criteria: their company’s staying power, growth, social responsibility, innovation and number of employees.
Café Funchal, owned and operated by the DaSilva family, specializes in Portuguese cuisine, featuring authentic dishes from the Madeira region. It is located at Church Street and Nash Road, in New Bedford’s North End. To learn more, visit Interior and exterior images are posted on the restaurant’s page
The New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce, chartered in 1885, is a networking and policy group serving nearly 1,000 member businesses in New Bedford, Acushnet, Dartmouth, Fairhaven, Freetown, Mattapoisett, Marion, Rochester, Wareham and Westport. To learn more, visit
May. 21, 2008
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