For the past two months, Carlo Campagna has been cooking dreams in his scratch kitchen, Toro Food Concepts.
“I have Caribbean food, I have Spanish food, and I have Italian food,” Campagna said, listing some of the dishes on the menu.
Although he has worked in the food industry for years, this is his first time owning his own food business off East 11th Avenue and Ogden Street.
However, they face challenges in continuing their operations.
“Certainly we can get people through the door,” he said. “People walk by and they don't notice you, and there's food here for them, and there's no one to serve it.”
His wife, Gisele Diaz Campagna, wanted to do something to change his luck.
“I noticed he was a little depressed and even thinking, 'Should I open the store today?'” It was a Saturday, so I knew he was in a really bad place mentally. ” said Díaz Campaña.
She took to TikTok on Saturday morning to make an emotional plea for people not to let their dreams burn out.
“I kind of forgot about it and was like, 'I'm going to go home and delete it,'” she said. “We realized that a lot more people were watching this than you expected.”
Campagna had no idea his wife had posted something that garnered thousands of views and likes.
“I was like, 'Wow, I'm not ready yet,'” he said.
When he arrived for work Sunday morning, hundreds of people who had seen his wife's video showed up or ordered online.
“20 [people] It was a good day, [or] “On Sunday we had 25 people here in the first 10 minutes. That went on until we ran out of food, then we made more and it ran out again.”
People braved the dangerously cold weather just to go inside and order food.
“Chef Carlo was cooking there and he was like, 'I'm so stressed out right now. I've got so many orders I don't know what's going on,'” Nick Howard said. “I'm like, 'Get ready, get ready.'”
Howard, the face of social media foodie blog Mile High Food Dude, was the first to walk in the door.
“This just kind of shows that if we come together as a community, we can help just like any other major city,” he said.
What continued to amaze Campagna on his second day at the restaurant was the outpouring of support since the video went viral.
“Honestly, it's a very heartwarming story and I almost cried when I heard my wife's words,” Campagna said.
The video has about 500,000 interactions and counting as of Tuesday night.
“This was a game-changer and life-changing for us,” Diaz Campaña said. “We are excited to know that we are surrounded by the following people.” [are] They are truly our neighbors. ”
It's unclear how long this viral video will continue to attract audiences, but we hope it can keep up the momentum.
“Basically, we want people to like the food,” Diaz Campaña said.
The company also plans to hire more staff to meet demand.
“I hope it's not just us,” Campagna said. “I hope people understand that there are people like us. [people] They can help too and you will be able to support them. ”