BOSTON — Sometimes we need a palate cleanser when faced with a global pandemic. The scenes of hoarding and tugs-of-war for paper goods make it clear that some humans have a long way to go to become civilized. Then, you have Raffi and Nina Festekjian, who are feeding out-of-work restaurant employees for free.
In a short few years the couple has gone from opening anoush’ella, an upscale fast food restaurant featuring Armenian takes on Lebanese food in Boston’s South End to adding two more locations, one at the Time Out Market in Boston’s Fenway, and a second one at the outdoor MarketStreet Lynnfield mall.
In this time of crisis, the Festekjians have temporarily closed the latter two locations for now, keeping only a skeleton crew running the South End location for takeout orders. It was then that they got the idea to help.
“As we looked at our business, we realized after closing two of our units, that we had enough food to give away even though our delivery business is continuing to operate. As we started discussing the whole industry situation with other restaurants, we realized how pervasive the situation was so we have decided to provide food to workers who have lost their jobs during this crisis. We have a limited amount of resources but we can feed up to about 60-70 people a day for about three weeks until April 6. We will evaluate the situation then,” said Nina Festekjian on Monday, March 23.
“We think it’s simply the right thing to do. This country has given us so much as far as opportunity, comfort, freedom and success that we feel we need to somehow give back,” she added.
Any restaurant employees who have lost their jobs during this crisis, regardless of where they worked, can get meals from anoush’ella.