Despite the sluggish economy, a Gulfport couple is putting their faith and finances into opening a new business.
"The Greek Isle" restaurant hosted a grand opening ribbon cutting Friday in Orange Grove. The business venture is a dream come true for the owners, but a definite risk in today's struggling economy.
"There you go, very good!"
Sid and Christy Logothetis looked on nervously as friends and customers watched the ribbon cutting at their new restaurant. The couple is counting on folks to discover their "Greek Isle". Opening the restaurant on Hwy. 49 is the fulfillment of a dream.
As friends enjoyed Greek pastries and other specialties, Christy Logothetis tried to hide her nervousness.
"For about six months we just really, really, really waited. And we wanted, we knew where we wanted the building and we just waited. And it came available. And, I'm too nervous."
News about the sluggish economy is an added source of stress. But Sid Logothetis isn't worried. He grew up in the business, helping run a successful Greek restaurant in Joliet, Ill.
"This is really my dream, and we're putting everything we had into it. A lot of time and effort. A lot of days, a lot of hours. But we believe that God's hand is in this and that's what we're standing on, that it's going to be a successful business."
A reminder about how difficult it is for a small business to succeed can be found at the entrance to this restaurant. An ice cream cone lighted sign is posted in the driveway. The business used to be a TCBY yogurt shop. That business closed. But that fact hasn't deterred these new business owners.
The owners have the backing of friends and fellow business owners. Phyllis Aduddell represents the Orange Grove Chamber of Commerce.
"We're here for support if they run into difficulty. I've been in business for over three years. I've made it past the hump. So, maybe we can help give them some words of wisdom when they run into tough times."
Sid and Christy say they're more than ready for the challenge.
"We believe everything will be okay. Everything will work out."
The restaurant features a variety of Greek cuisine, but there's even cheesburgers and onion rings on the menu for the less daring.