Garden City restaurant supporting Puerto Rican community after being hit by Hurricane Fiona

Wepa Cafe
Posted at 5:31 PM, Sep 29, 2022
and last updated 2022-09-29 19:31:52-04

GARDEN CITY, Idaho — As Wepa Café restaurant’s one-year anniversary approaches, the owner is now looking to give back to the greater community.

Art Robinson, owner of the Garden City Puerto Rican restaurant, said they are planning to use their mile-marking celebration to continue to give back in a bigger way.

Part of the mission at Wepa is giving back. Robinson said Wepa partners with a nonprofit group, ProTechos, which rebuilds roofs damaged by hurricanes.

“They are actually still building roofs from Hurricane Maria 5 years ago,” Robinson said. “Now obviously, with Hurricane Fiona, there’s new damage and actually some of the roofs they built for Maria have been damaged and they're working on those.”

Related: Wepa Cafe brings Puerto Rican cuisine to the Treasure Valley

Wepa’s one-year anniversary is Saturday and the restaurant is planning a large celebration to cherish all of its accomplishments.

“The first year has been phenomenal,” Robinson said. “The response from the community has been outstanding. Everybody has been super supportive. There’s a lot of change going on in Garden City and we are happy to be a part of it.”

Robinson described it as a “good old-fashioned Puerto Rican party” coming to Garden City.

“We’re going to close off our parking lot and do a traditional Lechon pig roast,” he said. “Puerto Rican picnic, and we’re bringing a salsa and Caribbean music DJ and dance floor.”

This weekend they are continuing to give back to those who need it most.

“We are doing a raffle drawing and fundraising all that will go specifically to their efforts and what they are doing down there to help the underserved community," he said.

Robinson has family in Puerto Rico and was there three months after Hurricane Maria in 2017.

“I got to see a lot of that devastation first hand," he said. “My family was relatively lucky but obviously a lot were not.”

This inspired him to serve up Puerto Rican flavors while also giving back to a community that means a lot to him and his family.

“That's been the message from day one. Give Puerto Rican cuisine with a social conscience and the timing of this just happens to coincide with our one year anniversary so we’re going to pull out all of the stops and help as much as we can.”