Restaurant owner takes proceeds from her closed restaurant, pays it forward to another struggling business

When Mary's Diner was forced to close due to COVID-19, its owner held an auction to help a fellow struggling business.


A beloved local restaurant in North Carolina, Mary’s Diner, was forced to close for good because of COVID-19. The owner, Mary Haglund, did not want her restaurant to close in vain, so she found a remarkable way to help others.

Haglund auctioned the well-known portraits from her restaurant and instead of keeping the $5,000, she gave it to her friends Rigo and July, who were struggling to keep their own restaurant, La Botana, afloat.

For Haglund, there wasn't even a second thought for her to help her friends: “When you can pay it forward like that, it’s not even a choice. Of course, I’m going to help these people, this is a family-owned business,” Haglund said.