Every town has it. That one restaurant that's almost like a meeting place for the community. On any given day you can walk in and be sure to run into friends and neighbors. Whether it’s a busy lunch hour during the work week, or Sunday morning after church, it's the place to be. Every town has one. And for Grand Blanc that place is Sophia's Kitchen.

Open for over 20 years in downtown Grand Blanc, owners Gus and Susie Naum now face what many other small businesses are facing amid the coronavirus pandemic, The owners have had to deal with their closure, balancing what to do with employees that were out of work, and now the challenge to reopen with a whole new set of rules.

With most restaurants reopening about a week ago, the Naums decided to wait it out for several reasons. Now ready to open their  doors to customers again on July 7, the restaurant will be adjusting, like most, to a new way of business. Sophia's Kitchen has been closed practically the entire time the shut-downs were in place. The opted out of staying open for take-out business. "We tried take-outs for a week there just wasn’t enough sales to warrant staying open", said Susie Naum.

So why did the owners decide to wait until July to reopen their doors to customers? Susie Naum said there were many things to consider.  Naum commented, "We made the decision to reopen July7th because of health, safety, and economic considerations. Due to all the new restrictions we questioned the viability of the business.  For the past 20 years we had tremendous support from the Community and look forward to serving them soon".

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The hometown restaurant is also dealing with the issues restrictions, something many businesses in the area now face. "Our biggest challenge is the restrictions. Because of the 6ft separation the actual capacity will be down to about 40% and the challenge the will be can we do enough business to keep our doors open?"  Naum went on to say their priority is the safety of their staff as well. "We worry about our wait staff. We have been blessed to have a very dedicated staff we have many employees that have been with us for over 15 years."

One thing is for sure, community support is strong in Genesee County and Grand Blanc. Locally owned businesses were able to survive partial to total closures  and then re-emerge because of loyal customers. The owners of Sophia's Kitchen are excited to see the faces of their customers again when they open, and know community is truly family.


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