On the corner of 68th and Becher in West Allis, the 'seed to table' dining restaurant Wild Roots made a name for itself over the past year.
"After my first year, we were actually having a very good trend. A positive trend," said Thi Cao, Chef and Owner of Wild Roots Restaurant.
After celebrating a successful one-year milestone in March, Thi couldn't believe what happened next amid the coronavirus pandemic.
"The next week we had to close. It was a shocker, it was upsetting," said Cao.
The disappointment was quickly met with relief, as the community came out to support Wild Roots.
"We are all in this together, and we are all very supportive. People have come out to the restaurant saying we want to support you, we want to buy gift certificates, so on and so forth. So we have been very lucky in that respect," says Cao.
Switching to carryout over March, April, and May, the restaurant was still able to get meals out the door. To make up beverage sales, Wild Roots got creative.
"We had to be innovative like most restaurants in our town, to start bottling up these cocktails and selling wine and becoming more retail," Cao said.
Thankfully, it's been enough to get Wild Roots to June, the month we've seen a little bit of normalcy come back with limited dine-in options.
"Most importantly for us is that people need to start working again. We're open, we want to start working again, we want to bring back the service and the restaurant. But also not to take away what's happening in this country," Cao said.
By that, Thi simply means providing people comfort by serving food that only he can provide.
"I am a Vietnamese person, who grew up in America, who studied classical French cuisine, who's first chef job was at an Italian restaurant. I studied abroad in Spain. It's pretty much my personality, and the comprehensiveness of my upbringing and background is represented on the dish," said Cao.
Wild Roots is open Tuesday through Thursday from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. and 4 p.m. to 9 p.m. Friday through Saturday they are open till 10 p.m. Sundays from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m.