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    Richmond, Virginia

    In the 1950s, at the age of 19, Stella Dikos arrived in Richmond from Greece via an arranged marriage. Her husband Starvos Dikos opened The Village, a local institution near what was then the Richmond Professional Institute, now known as Virginia Commonwealth University. Stella learned how to make dishes her customers loved and, in return, she introduced them to the dishes she left behind in Greece. In 1983, Stella convinced Starvos to open her namesake restaurant on Harrison Street and Grace Streets. After closing and re-opening another Stella’s on Main Street, she closed once more. Richmonders continued to ask her when they could eat with her again. In 2011, six months after Starvos passed away, Stella's opened a third time on Lafayette Street. Stella is known in Richmond as a culinary legacy, a woman who worked day and night to put the American dream into motion. She paved the way for her daughter, Katrina Giavos, who, along with her husband and business partner Johnny Giavos, has opened 13 other restaurants around Richmond.

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    Interview & photograph by Sara Wood, 2013
    Southern Foodways Alliance ||
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