Mother of 5 is celebrated as owner of Enzo’s of Arthur Avenue
During this Women's History Month, News 12 is highlighting female owned businesses across the borough.
In Belmont, a female owned restaurant is serving up classic Italian dishes.
Maria Di Rende is the owner of Enzo’s of Arthur Avenue.
"We treat everyone like family,” says Di Rende.
Whether it's the fried meatballs, pork chops or linguini with clam sauce, this well-known restaurant has been a staple of Little Italy in the Bronx for almost 15 years.
"It is very special, and I feel even more special because I owe that to my husband,” says Di Rende.
Her husband, Enzo, originally ran the business, but at the age of 46 passed away after a battle with prostate cancer. This year would have been their 27th anniversary.
"He worked very long hours. He was here all the time and now knowing what he's been going through, now that I've been working here. I realize what it is that he did and the strength it takes to run any business, you have to have that will, courage, and you have to love it,” says Di Rende.
Di Rende says she loves running the restaurant now, but admits that wasn't always the case.
"It was hard. I did question, can I do this? But, with courage and support from everyone around me, it did make it easy,” says Di Rende. "I see my workers, they're doing their thing and it makes it worth it, it makes it worth it knowing that my husband did something that I want to keep going to do for my husband and my kids."
It's her kids that are the driving force behind everything she does, hoping to serve as inspiration for her five daughters.
"I want them to see, you can face whatever struggle comes and I want them to know that they can do it, especially being girls, I want them to know that if they put their mind to it, they can do it,” says Di Rende.