SIERRA MADRE, Calif. – Judging by the hundreds of servings being plated up at Corfu Restaurant in Sierra Madre, it's a busy dinner service for owner, Vicken Satamian, and his family.
However, despite the Wednesday rush, busy isn't the way Satamian would describe business as of late.
"Right now, we’re about 80 percent down, we have only 20 percent of what we had before," he said. "It’s crazy. We have only to-go’s and so many restaurants in a small town.”
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But one of the benefits of operating in a small town is being a part of a tight knit community — one that has a desire to help each other.
One of the ways they are hoping to give that support is through Sierra Madre Thrives. The online platform is the brainchild of local business owner, Mike Comer.
“The first thing we came up with was letting people know who was open, where can you go, and what type of restaurant specials are they doing," Comer explained.
From there, the group also launched a weekly dinner service called the Quarantine Canteen.
It rotates every week to a different restaurant around town and each meal is "pay if you can" or free. All donations go towards restaurants to cover the cost of expenses.
"That way both the restaurants do OK and we’re able to provide these free meals," Comer said. "Sierra Madre’s been so generous. We’re hoping to cover meals right through the end of the quarantine.”
For restaurant owners like Satamian, it was a welcome respite from what's been a trying time.
"They’re here to support us right now because they know businesses need them more than any time," he said. "This is something new for all of us. I’m gonna try my best, we’re here.”
The group is planning to continue the weekly event through the Stay at Home mandate. This Wednesday's Quarantine Canteen will be held at Monsieur Crepe.
For more information, head to SierraMadreThrives.com.