Help us end the fiscal year strong. Donate by June 30. Give Now

For this Detroit restauranteur, business is still “day to day”

Sean McHenry May 18, 2022
Heard on:
HTML EMBED:
COPY
"We do have some good days, we do still have some bad days," says Lester Gouvia, chef-owner of Norma G's Detroit, a Caribbean restaurant. Courtesy Lester Gouvia

For this Detroit restauranteur, business is still “day to day”

Sean McHenry May 18, 2022
Heard on:
"We do have some good days, we do still have some bad days," says Lester Gouvia, chef-owner of Norma G's Detroit, a Caribbean restaurant. Courtesy Lester Gouvia
HTML EMBED:
COPY

For Lester Gouvia, chef-owner of the Caribbean restaurant Norma G’s Detroit, business has been a “rollercoaster.”

“We’re starting to see a little bit of a pickup on the weekends,” Gouvia said. “But during the week, we do have some good days, we do still have some bad days. And that’s just something [we] deal with, day to day.”

Gouvia has had to cope with staffing shortages and price increases on his ingredients. For the latter, he’s had to raise prices on some of the most popular menu items. “The pandemic never really went away from a supply perspective.”

One example? Gouvia has struggled to find a certain type of chipotle peppers. “It’s critical to one of our sauces,” he said. “And I did try a different brand. And it wasn’t good. And [I] was just in panic mode.”

Eventually, Gouvia was able to find the peppers he needed, but it wasn’t cheap.

“Consistently I had to pay extra money for it,” he said. “I think it was worth it, because we kept the consistency.”

Click the audio player above to hear the full story.

There’s a lot happening in the world.  Through it all, Marketplace is here for you. 

You rely on Marketplace to break down the world’s events and tell you how it affects you in a fact-based, approachable way. We rely on your financial support to keep making that possible. 

Your donation today powers the independent journalism that you rely on. For just $5/month, you can help sustain Marketplace so we can keep reporting on the things that matter to you.