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Rockford restaurant pays forward customer generosity to local police

ROCKFORD (WREX) — Marc's Fusion Cafe is closed every Sunday. It's a much needed day of rest for staff after typically busy nights serving the community.

"We've been very fortunate," says co-owner Jim Sola. "We've been very busy."

The restaurant, like all others across the state, hasn't been able to open its door to dine-in customers for nearly a week due to a mandate from the governor concerning COVID-19. Instead of business coming to a standstill, the community has rallied around the sushi joint.

"In fact a couple nights we had to turn the phones off because we were an hour and a half behind doing carryout orders," says Sola.

The tied up phone lines and busy tones didn't keep away the loyal customers.

"We had one customer call 78 times to get through," says Sola with a laugh. "I was like wow. That's crazy! I wouldn't I do that. I was like my god how do you charge people, how do we help out after that?"

So instead of using their day off to rest, the restaurant had another idea. It served up free boxed meals for area police officers.

"So we thought we would pay it forward," says Sola.

The restaurant says it's looking forward to continue this giving back for the coming weeks.

"Oh for sure, I mean people have been so good to us, you got to help out too."

The restaurant says customers have been incredibly generous, keeping their sales strong as if it was a typical week serving dine-in customers. In addition to serving 44 meals to police officers and other community members, Marc's Fusion Cafe says it plans to deliver meals to workers at Noah's Ark on Monday.

Mary Sugden

Mary Sugden is the Investigative Reporter at WREX. She joined the team in December 2014 as the evening producer. In 2015 she made the move to evening reporter before joining the 13 Investigates team in May of 2018.

She grew up in Woodstock, Illinois and graduated from Woodstock High School in 2009. Mary graduated with a degree in Journalism and Marketing from Loyola University Chicago in 2013.

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