Japu restaurant, located in downtown Lawrence's historic Duck Mills building, is owned and operated by the mother-daughter team Nieves Torribio and Delania Acosta. Japu is an authentic family restaurant with brother/son Arturo Acosto, as the head chef who brings extensive experience in the restaurant industry. Japu brings Lawrence a unique fusion of Japanese and Peruvian cuisine, with all original recipes that keep the glowing reviews rolling in.
Nieves and Delania worked with Mill Cities Community Investments’ (MCCI) staff to develop a business plan and financial projections for the restaurant before they opened Japu. With a business plan and savings, they qualified for a $50,000 community loan through the Lawrence Venture Fund to open Japu’s doors in 2018, employing nine full-time employees. Japu’s owners continued to benefit from MCCI’s programs, graduating from Bookkeeping, QuickBooks, and Tax Prep classroom training.
During the height of the pandemic, MCCI provided one-on-one support to help Japu qualify for a $60,000 Paycheck Protection Program loan that helped keep their staff onboard and their doors open.