The journey for Yveline “Eve” Bontemp has not been easy. Many obstacles stood in her way, but she persists. Bontemp is a self-proclaimed fighter; from being abused and neglected as a child in Haiti to coming to the U.S. with no English skills to opening Garden of Eve, a Caribbean restaurant in Providence, and becoming a U.S. citizen. Whatever comes her way, she always finds the good and figures out how to keep going.

It sounds like a cliché, but for Bontemp, it’s not. Her story is one worth telling. It’s inspiring, beautiful, and heartbreaking.

Bontemp persisted. Shortly after she graduated from the Rhode Island Food Bank’s Community Kitchen Culinary Job-Training Program , she and her husband, Goodson Banard, were driving around Providence. It was their anniversary in November of 2016. Their drive concluded at 405 Harris Avenue. Banard had surprised her and said he had put a rental deposit down on the small building so that she could open a restaurant.

“I couldn’t believe it. He said ‘Happy anniversary!’—I was waiting for a band to come out and start playing or something,” she said, with her broad smile beaming. “That’s when we agreed . . . we were going for it. We jumped in and we haven’t looked back.”

In April 2017, and 20 years after she first dreamed up the idea, Bontemp opened her very own restaurant: Garden of Eve. The menu is full of dishes she ate as a child, including légume, curry chickpeas, oxtail, fried plantains and delicious black mushroom rice (djon djon). She loves cooking vegetarian and vegan dishes, too. The restaurant is cozy; there are only a handful of tables and a small counter for eating inside with a larger area to eat outside during the warmer weather.

This Business Supports “Minority Economic Development

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