Don't Surrender, Reinvent: The New Mantra Of Small Biz In Puerto Rico

Facing an uncertain future and dim prospects of financial relief, small businesses get support and strength from each other.
Puerto Rican chef Jose Sanchez inside his restaurant Pera Maraya. "Everything was going perfect," says Sanchez, 28. "Then the storm hit." Source: Christina Cala

Just seven months ago, Puerto Rican chef Jose Sanchez opened the restaurant of his dreams: a place where you could feel like you were in Italy one day, and like you were in France the next.

He served up fusion cuisine and called it Pera Maraya. There was deconstructed ratatouille, caprese salad with octopus. The restaurant in Carolina, east of San Juan, was getting rave reviews: five stars on Yelp, Trip Advisor and Facebook. He spent nearly a decade saving up to open this restaurant, and was overjoyed at how quickly it found success.

"Everything was going perfect," says Sanchez, 28. "Then the storm hit."

Hurricane Maria, which blew through

You're reading a preview, sign up to read more.

More from NPR

NPR3 min read
'Bunk' Is Encyclopedic, Fascinating — And Frustrating
Kevin Young's new book puts forth an instantly convincing pairing of race and hoaxing — both a "fake thing pretending to be real." But he loses readers' trust with knotty, overly aphoristic writing.
NPR4 min readFood & Wine
'The Bad Food Bible' Says Your Eating Might Not Be So Sinful After All
In his new book, Dr. Aaron Carroll explains that there might be less evidence against some notoriously bad foods than we think. In fact, maybe we should be eating some of them more often.
NPR4 min read
Joe Biden Remembers His Son In His New Memoir
NPR's Michel Martin spoke with Biden this week about his new memoir, his family and the Anita Hill case.