Sweet Pepper wants to stay...
Hi, we are Andrea and Jose, owners of Sweet Pepper Venezuelan food bar, a small local restaurant in Lincoln Square, we started this dream of offering our traditional gastronomy in June 2018. With a background in hospitality for some years before arriving to the US 4 years ago, we always wanted to operate our own restaurant some day, after working hard (Andrea was a nanny for a couple years and Jose had different jobs, serving, delivering pizzas and ride share driver) saving some money and with the help of people, the day finally came and we opened Sweet Pepper.
People from the neighborhood showed themselves very excited about the idea of a new ethnic restaurant in the area, most of them had never had Venezuelan food before and we saw a very good opportunity of making Venezuelan food the new thing in the Chicago gastronomy world.
Since the very beginning we felt very identified with the social values of this community, who are always trying to support/help each other, knowing that's a way of living in a prosperous, safe and nice environment, we have been committed to support the community in different ways, local activities, school fundraisers, neighbors support and adding value to the local economy.
We usually say, we don't receive support, but actually love, because it is really amazing how we have been feeling loved for these almost 2 years in Lincoln Square. From small things like people opening the door of the restaurant just to say "Hi, Thank you for being here" (yes, it really happens and that's amazing), other local businesses owners offering their support, neighbors bringing us gifts from their vacations because they thought about us while out of town, to also being featured in different on line news sites, TV shows and being interviewed for magazines. How can't we say we don't love this place?
Restaurants business are very seasonal and coming from a country where the weather is over 80F year round, this is something we have learnt here. Winter time was a little hard for us, to the point we decided to close our doors for 2 months (February and March). As a "former" Uber driver Jose thought about the possibility of driving for Uber again while the restaurant is closed (Andrea was also driving for Uber this time), so we can pay the rent and bills of the restaurant and also save the money needed to re open in April, no body was expecting a situation like this and then, the Covid-19 came :( . Now even ride share driving is down.
We have received messages from friends, customers and neighbors asking if they can buy gift cards or help in some way, we haven't given any answer yet since to this point we are not sure if we are going to be able to re open Sweet Pepper and this is sad.
We know this is a very difficult time and we had a hard time deciding to start a fundraiser, but since we have been asked to be helped we think this could be a possibility.
We are offering different "prizes" depending on the amount of your donation.
We will also be updating every night the total amount collected in this page.
Thank you all who took the time to read this and also thank you for your support.