The restaurant served as an influential piece of Econome’s life, dating back to childhood. She shared, “My grandparents didn’t know fairytales and told my sister Janet and me stories about how they operated The Classic Grill, about the recipes, their customers, and how they did business. Even as a child, I realized that this slice in time was unique and precious as these Greek immigrants made their way in the American world.” On the other hand, Econome reflects on the fictional side of her novel, “Although my plotline and characters are all fictional, I took inspiration from my grandparents’ early life in the U.S.”

The influence and inspiration from her grandparents does not stop there. Upon asking Econome about her Greek-American experience growing up, and how her Greek culture has influence her both personally and professionally, Econome again gives credit to her family. “Anyone who know me quickly understands that my Greek heritage is an extremely important part of my life.” My parents, Georgia and Ted, encouraged my sister and me to speak Greek to our grandparents (all four were Greek immigrant pioneers) instead of English. We heard our grandparents’ detailed recollections of both their village life and restaurant work in the U.S.” Econome said. Continuing, “I am very proud of being Greek and attempted to share that heritage in my story. I created fictional characters and plot to reflect the lives of early Greek immigrants in the U.S.”

Click here to read the entire article in The Hellenic Journal.

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