CONCORD N.C. --When the Perez-Ochoa family moved from Cuba in 2015, they hoped to start a business to keep their family together.

But just two months after purchasing Havana Carolina in downtown Concord, their father, Ideal Perez, was tragically killed in a car accident on November 22, 2017, just one day before Thanksgiving.

Now, two years later, his son and daughter have stepped up, helping their mother run the business and control the social media accounts.

And even though the Thanksgiving season is always difficult for their family, they say staying together and continuing their food traditions helps them stay thankful for the success God has given them.

“We were not going to let it fall,” says Manny Perez-Ochoa. “'Cause I know my dad wouldn’t have let it happen either so we just keep it running and then after a couple months we were like 'we have to go all the way up' and that’s when we started focusing on Social Media, on events and a couple other stuff.”

The restaurant hosts free salsa classes once a week and has live music on the weekends.