Owner of a restaurant appreciates staying afloat, during the pandemic, due to her diners
15 years ago Ledy Oseguera and her husband Flavio Villalta began to realize part of their American Dream, to own their own business.
The couple opened Ledy’s Restaurant in North Hollywood, an establishment that serves Honduran, Salvadoran, Mexican, and American food.
Little did they imagine at the time that standing would cost them a lot of work. Two years after launching as owners, the recession began where many people lost homes and businesses. However, with hard work, they managed to get afloat.
A year ago another hit came. Ledy’s husband passed away and she had to stay in front of the business alone. She said she has two adult children living in Honduras and a daughter in Los Angeles.
At the time that he thought the business was already on track and improving, the place was affected again earlier this year after the COVID-19 pandemic.
“When they announced that everything was closed, I closed the restaurant for 20 days and then I got up and [aunque] I went to work in fear, “said Ledy.
He added that his restaurant has three employees. Upon reopening, for fear of contagion and economic uncertainty, Ledy was working with her daughter and eventually they called one of the employees.
“Yes, I was very concerned but I also agreed that it should be closed, all for health,” he said.
For about two months he was only selling takeout food and was able to sustain himself. For this reason, today she appreciates that customers never abandoned her.
He added that so far he has not been in such dire financial straits since when he was unemployed he occupied his savings, then sold a piece of land he had in Honduras and used the money to cover his expenses here. He added that some family members also held out their hands.
“In these difficult times is when you meet good customers and friends,” said the Honduran.
Ledy pointed out that this pandemic has left him with an experience of survival and a very great lesson that will not go unnoticed.
“You really have to know how to save.”
Collaboration with the Honduran consulate
Ledy said that despite the May reopening to eat inside the restaurant was very short, because on orders from the state government they had to close again, she appreciated the option they were given.
“It gave us great joy to know that [después nos dijeron que] we could sell outside and put the tents and tables and chairs, “he said.
In addition, she commented feeling supported by the Honduran Consulate General in Los Angeles since it has been given the task of collaborating with small entrepreneurs.
The consul, María Fernanda Rivera Fiallos, said that for the consulate it is important to improvise and look for ways to collaborate with the community at this time.
She said that a few months ago, Bibi’s restaurant in the MacArthur Park area offered to donate food like grains and sugar to those most in need.
“So we decided to call community leaders and organizations to support us,” said Consul Fiallos. “This is how the volunteers and more donations came to us.”
After seeing the success of that first installment, and making the mention on social networks, the consul said that other Honduran restaurants were calling them to see how they could participate.
“What we do is we build the pantries there in the restaurants and then we distribute them. It is a way to help small entrepreneurs with visibility, ”said Fiallos.
And in Ledy’s Restaurant the publicity was very helpful.
“The consul has done a very good job and when we made the distribution here, it went very well for me. People responded very well to me. They asked a lot for the bullets to take away, ”said Ledy. “Several people who came to pick up the pantries have returned to buy food.”
So far, the Honduran Consulate General in collaboration with restaurants, organizations, companies and volunteers has managed to deliver more than 1,200 groceries to needy families, regardless of their nationality. Ledy’s restaurant was part of the group of the third installment that took place last Saturday.