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WATCH Stories of Resilience: Saigon Sisters & Demera

This story is the second in a series of Stories of Resilience that demonstrate the generosity, creativity and community-building spirit that countless ICIC alumni have shown during the COVID-19 pandemic.

Mary Aregoni and Tigist Ruda are both graduates of Goldman Sach’s 10,000 Small Businesses Mary’s restaurant Saigon Sisters features food from her country of origin, Vietnam, and is located in Chicago’s West Loop neighborhood. Tigist owns and operates Demera in Chicago’s Uptown neighborhood, a restaurant offering Ethiopian cuisine. Given the vast difficulties facing the restaurant industry during the COVID-19 crisis, Mary and Tigist leaned on their longstanding friendship and creative intuition to make sure that they’re not only able to remain economically viable, but that their customers are given a unique cultural food experience.


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