From Peru to Connecticut
Decades of Hard Work
It was a long journey for Bladimir and Rosaura Pedroza to get to this point, they said in a conversation in late September in their Waterford home. She came from Peru to the United States in 1981, and he in 1985. After meeting at a party in New York in 1986, they would go to a coffee shop on Liberty Avenue in Queens and talk for hours. Three months after meeting, they were married.
"Everybody thought we were crazy," Bladimir said. There were "a lot of bets" on how long they would last.
"Life wasn't easy for a couple that weren't professionals," Rosaura said. "We had to start from the bottom."
She was working as a seamstress, and he at a pocketbook manufacturer and then as a cab driver. Bladimir said that "crime was
awful at that time" in Queens, and he had friends from Peru living in Connecticut, so the couple moved to New London in 1990. Bladimir has spent more than 27 years working at Benchmark Belt Company in Madison, always holding down at least a second job: first at the casinos, then as a landlord, and finally at the restaurant.
The Pedrozas used to own 23 apartments around New London that they rented out, but Bladimir said he was stressed because it was a lot of work, so he decided to sell the property. The timing couldn't have been more fortuitous: He sold the property about six months before the Great Recession hit.When Bladimir brought up the idea of having a restaurant, Rosaura was hesitant. She knew how hard the industry is, and she had no idea how to run a restaurant. But she agreed."Everything was like a challenge for me, and I was crying the first two weeks," she said. Through the challenge though they pursued their dream of sharing their culture and food with those around them.
Now, after many years of putting in difficult hours and hard work, they successfully own CJ Peruvian Bar and Restaurant and invite others to enjoy their delicious food and be a part of their experience within the community of New London. They welcome the public to enjoy authentic Peruvian cuisine that brings the comfort of sharing meals with friends and family and reminds them of their beginning in Peru and the journey that brought them to the corner of Broad and Connecticut Ave. Come in and get a taste of Peru!