Monday, December 30, 2013

Family of slain Ethiopian couple keeps Dallas restaurant going

(Dec 31, 2013, (Dallas))--The tale of the Dallas Ethiopian restaurant Desta is one of tragedy, hard work and, ultimately, of love. Husband and wife owners Yayehyirad “Yared” Lemma, 40, and Yenenesh “Yenni” Desta, 31, were shot and killed in 2012 by a customer who became obsessed with Yenni Desta. Their killer was convicted last December and will spend his life behind bars with no chance of parole.

The story — and perhaps the restaurant — could have ended with the brutal killings on the couple’s front porch. But their family — mainly Lemma’s two sisters — keeps Desta operating with the same love and hard work, hoping to create a legacy for the young son, now 3, that the couple left behind.

“This is not our story,” said Lemma’s sister Tizeta Getachew, who left her job running a domestic violence shelter to manage the restaurant. “This is their story.” The restaurant — in a strip center on Greenville Avenue between Interstate 635 and Forest Lane — offers traditional Ethiopian food with a twist. Lemma, who with his wife was from Ethiopia, enjoyed tweaking the food with a different spice or changing the cooking style. That tradition continues today.

Lemma’s other sister, Yemi Lemma, handles marketing for the restaurant at night and on the weekends. She lives near Houston, where marketing is also her day job, and comes to Dallas when she can. Other relatives pitch in when needed. An aunt can often be found cooking, and Lemma’s mother may stop by to chop vegetables. Read more from Dallas News »

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