When husband and wife team Julian Herrera and Nora Linares sold their popular Peruvian restaurant in Wilmington, the Golden Chicken, to address Herrera’s health issues, they felt as if they were walking away from family.
“We had so many loyal customers and the business was doing really well,” Herrera said. “I know many of our customers were upset about the closure and concerned about my health.”
Herrera said he has spent the past couple of years building up his strength, eventually taking on work in other kitchens
, as he felt able. When he and Nora spent an entire day cooking at a Peruvian festival in Charlotte, where they owned their first restaurant before moving to Wilmington to be closer to the beach, they had the overwhelming urge to open another restaurant.
“We said, ‘This is our thing…this is what we should be doing,'” Herrera said.
In an interesting twist of fate, they came to dine at Gallo Pinto, the most recent restaurant to occupy the space in University Landing where The Golden Chicken was located. They introduced themselves to the owners and within a few weeks received a phone call asking if they might be interested in purchasing the business.
“We believe that if something is meant to be, it will be,” Herrera said.
This time around, Herrera said he has a support system in place that will prevent him from over-extending himself. He said he has new suppliers that will deliver directly to him, eliminating the need for him to travel long distances. He is also able to work with local Hispanic markets, which now carry a variety of products from Peru.
Aromas of Peru is currently serving a limited menu, which includes their specialty rotisserie chicken, as well as several beef dishes. The menu will soon include a variety of ceviches as well, and the couple plans to make the left side of the restaurant a café, serving Peruvian coffees, pastries and desserts.
“This is what we’re made to do, serve the food of our culture to this community,” Herrera said.
Aromas of Peru is currently open seven days a week from 11:30 a.m. to 9 p.m. and 10 p.m. Friday and Saturday.
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