Dining out or ordering take-out had become an oversight or a simple afterthought in how someone could support our local businesses, and in Brighton there
are just an amazing array of delicacies and cuisines that sprawl across our Main Street district to choose from. Picking the right place to buy your
next meal is always a challenge. When COVID-19 first hit, and the world was forced to a screeching halt, it meant for many businesses a decrease in
foot traffic from customers, indoor dining became nearly nonexistent to completely gone, and uncertainty for what the future may hold was on many people’s
minds. For some residents, the pandemic meant a loss of a job, loss of an income, and a loss of knowing where their next meal was coming from. With
so much uncertainty and hurt going on in so many households and storefronts, it was all the more impactful to hear how Brighton Main Street’s 2020
Small Business of the Year was responding to this trying moment.
Twelve Hours Boston opened up on the Brighton Main Street in 2016. “The concept of Twelve Hours is simple for Asian people like me. We grew up eating fried rice and noodles so it is common for the soup broth to take twelve hours to boil and make.” Tarita, owner of Twelve Hours Boston, explained to us in the lead up for our Mask-erade! Digital Cocktail Hour. Tarita has an extensive background in Asian culinary dining. Born in Thailand, Tarita has been involved in restaurants for as long as she can remember. She began by helping out in her grandmother’s restaurant as a little girl. Later on, while in school she took on internships that put her in countries like New Zealand, China, and Singapore, expanding Tarita’s understanding of what Asian Fusion dishes can become. After a few years of professional experience in hotels, Tarita decided to pursue her Master’s at Johnson & Wales, and when that chapter ended, another began.
Tarita moved to Allston-Brighton and with her young family, extensive knowledge on Asian Fusion cuisine, her Master’s Degree, and was ready to start her own restaurant. She opened Twelve Hours Boston, and has grown her business to become a neighborhood staple. COVID-19 struck, and Tarita knew from what she was seeing and hearing that this was going to be unlike anything anyone has ever experienced. “I saw that so many families and businesses were struggling, including my own. This pandemic has just been so hard for everyone. Even early on, a few times I thought to myself, ‘Should I close down the business?’” Tartita shared. “No one knew just how long this difficult time would go on for, but then I told myself that if I give up now - then what about my Twelve Hours Boston team? Or my customers and friends, who always have cheered me up and appreciated the hard work we have put into the restaurant? At that moment, I realized that instead of drowning under the water why don’t I just swim up to the surface and take my team with me. We began collaborating and thinking as to how we can be helping others out and bring back happiness and smiles to our neighborhood.”
Tarita and the crew at Twelve Hours Boston began by setting up a stand outside the restaurant and distributed free meals to those in need. Now every Wednesday, if you are in need, Twelve Hours Boston will provide neighbors with the reassurance that they have one less meal to worry about. They do not check your ID or employment status, if you simply show up, Tarita’s team will help. As the weeks have passed, Tarita mentions that through all of their work, “...some people we have become friends with, even consider some as family. Like Amada and her mom at Amada’s Flowers, or Dana’s Nail Salon, Erik from Ghost in the Machine Tattoo and many more people within the Brighton Community. We have each other's back, caring and supporting one another. I feel like by starting our Free Food Wednesday project, I have gained more than I lost as I have earned a lot of smiles, friendships, and happiness.”
Help Brighton Main Streets by considering the Power of Giving Ten.
If this story inspires you, keep this power of 10 going and show your support by giving $10. Your $10 may not feel like a big deal, but when combine with 10 of your friends and neighbor’s who join you to give $10, that starts to make an exponentially bigger impact. By working together we can do more than any of us can do alone. That’s the Power of 10.
Looking for more inspiration? Read more Power of 10 stories.