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Tulsa couple finds new purpose after losing their restaurant during COVID-19 shutdown

Posted at 6:37 PM, Sep 09, 2020
and last updated 2020-09-09 19:37:53-04

TULSA, Okla. — When one door closes, another opens. That familiar phrase is holding true for one Tulsa couple after losing their family-owned restaurant in the Pearl District. Only open for one year, the Swamp House shut-down during the pandemic.

“It was just a situation where we couldn’t survive,” said Tom Dittus, owner of the Swamp House.

Abrupt closures have pushed thousands of restaurant owners to close up shop for good. Left without a job, Dittus and his wife, Dawn, found a unique opportunity to continue working in the restaurant industry while also helping others.

“It’s just been a match-made in heaven. We couldn’t be happier,” Dittus said.

Both are now the new managers at Take 2 Cafe, a deli-restaurant that serves as a rehabilitation center for women who’ve recently been released from prison. They also serve as mentors to the women who are looking to get back on their feet and re-enter the workforce.

Resonance Center for Women are the sponsors of the program. Victoria Swindell, a participant of the program, says it’s made the “transition a lot easier” and that “she looks forward to coming into work everyday.”

After losing his restaurant, Tom and Dawn feel a new sense of purpose and a newly found appreciation for what he has.

“As much as we’re making a difference, we feel like they’re making a difference our lives too,” Dittus said. “You just tend to look at things from a different perspective. I couldn’t be more thankful for the opportunity that we’ve been given.”

Resonance Center for Women is currently looking for mentors in the program. If you’re interested in getting involved, call 918-587-3891 or click here.

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