By Michel Nolan
San Bernardino County Sun, Calif.
Often, you need to take some risk if you want success … That’s a philosophy of entrepreneur Tonya Miller.
Testimony to her belief is Yo Mama’s Kitchen, the restaurant she opened on Dec. 2 with friend and fellow entrepreneur, Jacqueline Stalling.
The new eatery was “meant to be,” say the longtime friends.
Located on the Court Street side of the American Sports University on D Street, the restaurant offers tasty lunch options to workers from surrounding office buildings near City Hall and the downtown business district.
The restaurant venture was born when Stalling, 48, who prides herself on her salads, suggested the idea to Miller, 41, who enjoys making ham and turkey sandwiches.
“Sweet ham,” she calls it.
“I was thinking about opening a place that just sold sweet ham and juicy turkey sandwiches and was going to call it “The Sweet Pink Ham Shack,” said Miller, who also owns a hair salon in Fontana — Luxury Hair, Extensions & Salon.
Stalling, however, said she wanted to open a restaurant and wanted Tonya to be her partner, because “Tonya is willing to take chances and go out on a limb.”
They both say they took a chance in this shaky economy — and in San Bernardino, a city that is not fiscally sound.
“I was a little scared,” Stalling said.
When the restaurant first opened, the business started out slowly, so that is why they decided to serve free food on Tuesday.
They thought that once people knew Yo Mama was there, and how good it was, business would pick up — and it did.
On Wednesday, a lot more patrons sat at tables in the colorful dining room.
Stalling, who makes the vegetables and salads, says she loves anything grown outside.
They both do wraps and homemade chili.
Together, their menu offers complementary choices — a variety of wraps and sandwiches, hot dogs, salads and their Friday specials, which include stuffed bell peppers, Mama’s stuffed potato, smothered chicken breast, pepper steak and potatoes and soup or chili.
Then there are desserts from chocolate-covered strawberries and cakes to homemade cupcakes.
“We chose the name ‘Yo Mama’s Kitchen’ because we wanted everyone to feel at home, and that’s what we try to do,” Stalling said.