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Mama's Kitchen reopens three months after car crashes through building

Employee burned in accident returns to work, full of hope
Posted at 6:27 PM, Oct 26, 2021
and last updated 2021-10-26 19:27:40-04

SOMERVILLE, Texas — It’s been three months since a tragic car crash shut down Mama’s Kitchen in Somerville. But, come 8 a.m. Wednesday morning, the doors will reopen and breakfast will be served.

The road to recovery was long and difficult after a customer’s vehicle smashed through this side wall of the small restaurant in late July. The wall has since been repaired, and protective boulders have now been placed.

“The community have been [asking], ‘when are you opening? when are you opening?’" shared Dawn Klein, co-owner and daughter of Mama's Kitchen founders. "There’s a reason why. For me, the reason has been that... maybe there needed to be a little bit of healing in everybody.”

While the repairs to the kitchen took plenty of time and money, perhaps the biggest toll was the physical and emotional effects of those who were injured by the crash - like Amber Martinez, a Mama’s Kitchen head cook of ten years.

“The day after the accident, I was in the hospital, and [Dawn Klein] came along with my boss to see me," Martinez said. "...my boss traveled all around Houston to find some candy bars for me. She didn’t have to, and she did. It’s things like that – it's the little things. Everybody’s really pitched in and made sure I was okay.”

The Thompson family, owners and founders of Mama’s Kitchen, say that Somerville residents have given money, building materials, and hopeful prayers, all towards seeing the restaurant reopened.

Co-owner and co-founder Sandy Thompson said there will be some challenges in the coming days, including acquiring employees to fill vacancies. At least one person injured in the crash has not felt ready just yet to return.

“I’m very hopeful," Thompson commented. "I try to always stay hopeful.”

Now, Amber Martinez’s body is on the mend, and reflecting on the pain of the past, she feels inspired and sees a bright future.

“It changed my world," she stated. "You’ve got to take the good with the bad, and a lot of good came from this. I’m not happy how I got the time off, but I’m blessed to have gotten the time off to spend with my sister. Just, everything happens for a reason, and God is very good.”

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