Cynthia Orobio and Phillipe Sobon are not only partners in life, they're also business partners. At the beginning of the pandemic, they created a unique joint food concept as a labor of love.
"It's the love of both my husband and I," said Orobio. "Our cultures, our traditions but most importantly our food."
Orobio grew up in Texas and was raised by Colombian parents, while Sobon grew up in Chicago and was raised by his Polish family. That's why their restaurant, named Polombia, is a fusion of Colombian and Polish food.
"Polombia is this epic journey of Latin America and European flavors," said Sobon. "Developing this concept is something that is very close to our hearts because we both come from immigrant families."
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Those similarities inspired them to come up with some unique dishes, including the arepaski and emparogis, their most popular item.
"The outside is a traditional perogi dough ... the inside traditional Colombian flavor," said Sobon, who is the head chef.
The couple said the feedback for Polombia is better than they ever imagined. The food joint has become a popular go-to spot at Time Out Market Chicago, a food hall in the West Loop where you'll find some of Chicago's top culinary talent.
"It's been the biggest blessing!" said Orobio. "The West Loop is very popular, very thriving, up-and-coming."
Orobio and Sobon hope to open a brick-and-mortar location in the future, but for now, they're thrilled about how much they've accomplished. Aside from working at their current location, they also cater for special events. They're quite busy but proud to share their heritage with Chicago.
"This is the land of opportunity, but it’s also land to go ahead and create endless possibilities in the realm of cuisine or whatever industry. The sky is the limit, everything is possible," said Orobio.