NAPERVILLE, Ill. — When the pandemic began in March, restaurants across the country began to deal with unprecedented difficulties as closures drastically impacted a consistently steady industry. That’s when two small business owners in Naperville began to step in and help another small business in need.
Heather Demonte and Stacy Amoo-Mensah are co-owners of Klique, a branding company based out of Naperville. When restaurants began to feel the brunt of the pandemic in the spring, Amoo-Mensah and Demonte decided to give back.
“We focus on small businesses and many of our small businesses are female owned, so when the pandemic hit, we felt like we were on the front lines. We saw immediately the devastation it was causing,” Demonte said.
The two business owners sought out to boost another company’s brand, offering a package valued at $30,000 to boost a small business with a new look and message for free. After receiving more than 200 submissions, it was Chicago restaurant owner Mary Aregoni’s application that won them over.
Aregoni is the owner of Saigon Sisters, a Chicago restaurant with three locations near the downtown area. In March, she was unsure her business would survive the pandemic.
“I had to pivot to make sure we narrowed the menu down and then we do more carryout and delivery because people can’t dine in,” Aregoni said.
For Saigon Sisters, the team at Klique will enhance her menu and build a story around Aregoni’s Vietnamese heritage and Momma Sue’s famous soup.
Aregoni said she has collaborated with other female-owned businesses in the past, and is touched by Heather and Stacy’s generosity.
“I love it, I think it’s so amazing and another example of women helping women,” Aregoni said.
As for Klique, helping a business like Mary’s continue to grow and prosper is like being given a gift as well.
“Being able to use our gifts to help somebody in like that to continue to grow and prosper in a time she was feeling down and out is amazing,” Amoo-Mensah said.
Amoo-Mensah and Demonte said they will spend a few months working with Saigon Sisters on their new and improved brand.