When the Milisits family escaped the Hungarian Revolution in 1956 and set out for South Australia, they had no idea their son Vilmos, or Vili as he came to be known, would revolutionise the meat pie. Fast forwards a few decades to this day and age where Vili’s has become a household name in Adelaide and beyond. A big part of that feat is due to the beloved 24-hour Café De Vili’s located along South Road in Mile End South, which is now home to a massive mural of Vili Milisits himself.
After Vili’s passing in March of 2021, it was decided that the great man should be honoured via the medium of mural, with the help of local commission artist, Ann Shannon. The black and white piece measures in at 7.2 metres wide and 3.6 metres high, and took a solid six weeks to complete.
Vili’s representative, Nick Launchbury shares, “When Vili passed away it made a significant impact on the staff here at Vili’s. He was an exceptional leader and an extremely generous man. The staff got together and donated money so they could immortalize the man they admired so much.”
“We believe the mural is an important gesture to the history of South Australia, and not just the hospitality sector. Vili was an icon, not just as a successful business man, but as a philanthropist.
“As Vili always said, ‘Hungarian by birth, Australian by choice.’ We hope this mural will forever stand as a reminder of humility, hard work and success,” Nick continues.
Vili’s Family Bakery is now run by second and third generations, Alison Milisits and Simon Milisits, and Vili’s first grandson Josh Milisits, who has a degree in food science and works within the quality assurance team; he’s also the new face of Vili’s! The family assures that the Vili’s name and brand lives on with the same amount of love and passion that Vili had for his South Australian business.
Nick Launchbury says, “Every Vili’s pie, pasty or sausage roll is handmade; vegetables are peeled by hand, spices are added by hand, and anything that doesn’t match Vili’s exacting standards is rejected by hand – as Vili once said, ‘Machines can’t taste.’”
“Our diverse range of pastries have a flavour for everyone from beef pies, chunky steak and mushroom, hot chili beef and cheese, Thai green chicken pies, and pasties are just a few to mention,” Nick finishes.
Satisfy your tummy rumblies whether it’s 8am, 12pm or 2am, and check out the new mural of Vili while you’re at it. And as Vili was known to say, “If it hasn’t got a ‘V’, it ain’t me.”