The National Restaurant Association today honored Ethiopian sisters Berekti and Akberet Mengistu, owner-operators of Mesob restaurant in Montclair, N.J., with its 2011 Faces of Diversity American Dream Award.
The award celebrates members of the restaurant and food service industry who have embraced diversity and inclusion at their own business operations and achieved the American Dream in the process. National Restaurant Association presented the awards during its 2011 Public Affairs Conference in Washington, D.C.
“The restaurant industry is one of the most diverse industries in the United States, and we are celebrating that by honoring these individuals and companies with our 2011 Faces of Diversity awards,” said Dawn Sweeney, president and CEO of the National Restaurant Association. “The Mengistu sisters’ resilience and hard work resulted in the
achievement of the American Dream – owning their own restaurant – while serving their community at the same time. These two women exemplify the best of our industry and the many opportunities it provides.”
The Mengistu sisters witnessed the horror of the Red Terror political campaign in Ethiopia during the late 1970s and eventually immigrated to the United States. For the last seven years, they have successfully operated Mesob, their Ethiopian restaurant in Montclair, N.J. Berekti handles the business operations while Akberet serves as its chef.
The sisters are as committed to giving back to their community as they are to ensuring their restaurant’s success. They sponsor race/walks for charity, contribute to health and wellness events and also work in their local soup kitchen.