By Keith Richards:
This past week in honor of Mother’s Day, we have asked you what you love about your mom. As I reflect on my mom and her passing 6 years ago, I am reminded of what I loved about her. Wow, you name it! I loved it about her! My mom’s kindness was probably the biggest thing as well as her dedication to the Lord and my dad.
It was always J.O.Y. Jesus, Others, and then Yourself. She lived that out in her life and taught us how to do the same. My mom probably had one of the biggest hearts - and I’m not just saying that because I am her son - but she really did care for everybody. Growing up, I remember her always getting us ready for church on Sunday, and being a part of everything. Our home was like the Kool-Aid House where everyone came to play. If someone got hurt when we were playing, Mom was always there. They even called her “mom,” too! After we opened Taziki’s, Mom was still there. She cleaned tables before we opened and greeted guests.
A life-changing memory of my mom was when I started working at Bottega in Birmingham and it just didn’t feel right. I didn't use the company culture and customers, and I decided I was going to quit. So I went out the back door. Before making this big decision, I called my mom and told her what I wanted to do. She said, “Son, you need to go back in there. You told the man you were going to work. You’ve never quit anything in your life so you need to take the opportunity he has given you and go back up there and work!”
She always based her decisions off of what God would want you to do. So I went back in and worked. If I hadn’t, I never would have found my love for people and cooking and ultimately opening Taziki’s.
After we decided to open Taziki’s, my mom’s advice was still a huge influence in my life. She told me, “Take care of Amy and work hard. The people will come and God will provide.” She was a constant encouragement and always reminded me of Joshua 1:9 which says:
“Have I not commanded you? Be strong and courageous. Do not be frightened, and do not be dismayed, for the Lord your God is with you wherever you go.” Joshua 1:9
My mom was always a huge supporter of Taziki’s. Being a good cook, it was definitely a compliment. Looking back, some of my mom’s favorite dishes include the Greek Salad with grilled chicken, Salmon Feast with rice, Roll-ups with fruit and not chips, and she loved the Shrimp. I am forever grateful for the influence she was and continues to be in my life and Taziki’s.