We had the good fortune of connecting with Angelica Sammons and we’ve shared our conversation below.

Hi Angelica, what role has risk played in your life or career?
I have been in the restaurant industry a long time at this point, started at the bottom, worked my way up. One thing i’ve learned is it is a really tough business to be in with the best conditions. It’s a risky venture for anyone, big franchise or a little Mom and Pop shop. I knew what I was getting into the first time I stepped out on my own. I knew there was a good chance of failure. The first location did pretty well, We had the usual ups and downs, it eventually expired despite my best efforts. Structural issues in our building forced my hand and we walked away. It was heartbreaking. That “failure” was a lesson on what not to do next time or to have a contingency plan at the very least. When opportunity arose to relaunch, I didn’t hesitate. I am back to doing what I love, in a climate not exactly conducive to success. I show up everyday risking it all to do something that makes me genuinely happy. I don’t want to look back on my life and have “What ifs”. What if I hadn’t bet on myself, taken that risk, and found out what made my soul truly happy.

Let’s talk shop? Tell us more about your career, what can you share with our community?
I love food, I love to look at it, feel it, smell it, and obviously taste it. I own a small Diner in Willis, Tx. Currently located in the corner of a convenience store. It truly is a hidden gem, The Hidden Gem Diner, is all about turning out serious food in an unexpected setting. We have a record player with albums in the corner, a couple of really great ladies in the kitchen and an all around feel great vibe!! I am proud we managed a comeback, maybe not bigger, but definitely better. That opportunity opened the door for the next, I am excited about my newest Gem coming soon Summer 2020. “How did you get to where you are today professionally?” Sheer, bull-headed, stubborn will, some would say….The food industry is not for the faint of heart. We have had some interesting times lately, and prior to the pandemic it wasn’t exactly a walk in the park. However, I consider it a challenge. I take it personally, and hit back head on. When I come to a wall I rise above it, burrow under it, or run right through it. It is not always the most tactful way to do things, but i’ve come to find out I am very effective in all my rampaging glory. Oh man, so many lessons over the years. I can’t really pick just one. What I can say is learn from them, all of them. Learn everything you can. The next time that obstacle crosses your path, it won’t be anything you aren’t prepared for. Food is my love language, and I hope that in every plate we put out that is a beacon people can see. Can you brand love? Just loving life, loving your job, loving that chicken fried steak, and fried green tomatoes? If it’s possible, that’s my goal!

Any great local spots you’d like to shoutout?
Well okay, I tend to just run off half-cocked and zero plans but looking for an adventure. I’d like to think it’d go something like this. Day 1 : Geocaching and a picnic, Huntsville state park. Day 2: Dim Sum and shopping the markets in Chinatown. Day 3: Galleria Mall and Grand Luxe Cafe Day 4: Trails and flowers at Mercer Garden and Arboretum, Lunch at Tequila Patio Day 5: Karaoke any local dive bar, and tacos from my favorite truck Tacos in Low Places Day 6: Bargain shopping all over town and lunch at my place keeping the budget in tact Day 7: A scavenger hunt and Carriage ride through downtown Houston at night

The Shoutout series is all about recognizing that our success and where we are in life is at least somewhat thanks to the efforts, support, mentorship, love and encouragement of others. So is there someone that you want to dedicate your shoutout to?
Through all the ups and downs, the left, right, and pivots. My beau, Mr. Stephen Sammons has been my rock. From the very beginning, when I ended up bedridden, my man took to the kitchen and kept my business afloat. When business expanded, requiring all hands on deck he jumped right back on in. I decided to add to my plate and open a diner, he was there every step of the way, schlepping burgers in his free time. While he’s no longer in the kitchen as my grill master, he’s even more vital to my success. He keeps my very busy, very ambitious, over zealous enthusiasm in check by reminding me that I am only human and there are in fact, only 24 hrs. in each day. Some of which require sleep.

Facebook: https://www.facebook.com/TheHiddenGemDiner

Image Credits
50’s Attire: Tommy Stockbridge