Norma G's

Invest Detroit’s support: $100,000

Total dollars leveraged: $370,000

Number of jobs created: 9

Neighborhood: Jefferson-Chalmers

Born in Trinidad and raised in Brooklyn, surrounded by West Indian families and great Caribbean restaurants, Lester Gouvia has always treasured his heritage. So it was no surprise that after many years in the telecom industry which brought him to Detroit, he left the corporate world to pursue his dream of his own food business–Norma G’s, named after his mother. “She was an awesome person who could take simple food and make it really good,” said Mr. Gouvia. “I learned from her that good food was all about the love and the passion you put into it.”

After some initial catering gigs and pop-ups, he introduced a popular food truck that created customer demand for a bricks and mortar restaurant. With support from Invest Detroit, among many others, he was able to open the doors to Norma G’s on East Jefferson. “The end goal was always to create a destination restaurant, where people will come to enjoy good food, drinks, and conversation,” said Mr. Gouvia. “I am grateful to my family for their encouragement and to Detroit’s community partners for their generous support.”