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The Christmas season unites businesses and our community

Friday, December 16, 2022

One of my favorite things about the Christmas season is that it creates a sense of warmth and togetherness. As soon as November arrives, we see people begin putting up decorations in preparation for the holidays. With everyone taking part, it's safe to say that we all look forward to this time of year.

Looking back at the worldwide pandemic when everything looked bleak and dark, I am proud that our company grew out of it. Savory Bistro Café began as a take-out snack bar, and we made it easy for people to order food during the period of social distancing. As an established location, we made a point of keeping our lights on to provide a little light for the people around us. We can spread a little more joy and positivity for those who decide to come in or simply pass by. We wanted to convey the message that as a people, we are resilient and capable of rebuilding ourselves.

The CNMI is our second home, and my husband and I do what we can to spread positivity. The CNMI people have been welcoming to us, and we are grateful to see our restaurant filled with residents and visitors enjoying our karaoke room and delicious food.

Before we opened, we spent months working on our recipes. We eventually came to a point where our food became better than what we expected. It took us a while to get here, and we had a lot of support from the community along this journey. Our family is now able to witness our community enjoying our passion for food.

We take pride in serving our customers well and making sure their meals are delicious. We invite you to stop in, try our food, and spread the word. We hope to have the opportunity to provide you with excellent service this holiday season.

Christmas Decorating Contest

Last year, we shared our light decorations with the CNMI community and were shocked, but happy, to learn that we won the Governor’s Council of Economic Advisers (GCEA) Marianas Village Pride Campaign’s Christmas Decorating Contest. The grand prize was a $1,000 paint store credit, and we are pleased to share that it has been extremely helpful in the renovation of our new location. We have plans to relocate our establishment sometime next year and have put a lot of effort into it so that we can better serve the public. The prize contributed significantly to making that goal a reality.

This year for the GCEA’s Marianas Business Pride Christmas Decorating Contest, we aim to create a traditional Christmas scene with a visible manger illuminated with lights. A simple approach is never wrong when it comes to Christmas, as long as your heart is in it. We hope to provide a more traditional view of the culture from which our food originates, and show our collective passion and love for the Christmas season.

I encourage all businesses to join the GCEA’s MBP Christmas Decorating Contest. The grand prize has helped me spruce up our next location, and I can only imagine how it can benefit you!

This is an excellent opportunity to demonstrate your artistic abilities and unite as a community. Brighten your establishments with as many colorful lights as possible -- the more the merrier. As we all look forward to a wonderful holiday season, we wish you a very Merry Christmas. Together, We Can!

For more information visit the GCEA website at Engage with the Council on Facebook and Instagram (@cnmigov.economy) or contact them at

By Jennifer Elayda

Jennifer Elayda is a mother of three and is the president of JNL Corporation, a construction and cleaning business. Jennifer’s dream was to open a CNMI-friendly restaurant, which she did amidst the pandemic in 2020. Savory Bistro Cafe is located in Garapan.

Marianas Variety:


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