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Our Siete familia has grown each year, and we could not be happier with what it has become—a group of people who uplift and care for each other, just like family. This is why we respect and honor the past—because it paved the way for us to be able to do what we do: share inclusive heritage-inspired foods with families across the country. This month especially, we've spent a lot of time reflecting on those who came before us—our Grandma Campos being one of the most important to our family. It was our grandma who taught us that family always comes first, and it was her stamp of approval of our first tortilla that gave us the extra push of confidence to put ourselves out there and share our food! We hope that we can inspire and uplift people across industries, just like our Grandma Campos inspired us to be brave, lead with love, and put family first. Our mom, Aida, always reminds us of the importance of empowering others because it’s what her mom, our Grandma Campos taught her to do. Our grandma shaped us and our family, and we honor her and her legacy every day.
My mom did everything with her family in mind. For my mom, family always came first. She taught all of us that family is the most important thing in life. No matter what she was doing—whether that was hand pressing dozens of tortillas in her kitchen, helping us with our homework, or taking her grandkids on fun and exciting trips—she did it all, making sure we were taken care of and happy. My mom was generous, intelligent, a great cook, and beautiful, but most of all, she was loving.
I always say that the secret ingredient to my mom's amazing food was love, but she also baked love into everything she did. She told us she loved us all the time and she never criticized our decisions. When my children were born, and even after I moved out of the house and to another city, my mom never missed an important event. She'd attend every graduation and wedding, and she'd travel across the state just to see us. She called every single child, grandchild, great-grandchild, and family member on their birthday. She seriously never missed a birthday! She made everyone feel loved and capable of doing anything and everything. She was so proud and always believed in each of her children, grandchildren, and great-grandchildren, and she empowered every single one of us to believe in ourselves and to know we could accomplish anything.
My mom earned her college degree at a time when Latinas were not usually expected, much less encouraged, to attain a higher education. I look back on it now, and I realize how difficult that must have been for her to make that decision to go back to school, despite the odds. She balanced schoolwork, classes, and four kids, and still always had the energy to make us a delicious meal at the end of every day. My mom was amazing, and she instilled in us a family-first mentality and a love for learning. It was her example of strength, and love, and family that always made me feel unstoppable—it’s what I want to pass on to my children, and grandchildren—it’s her legacy.
- Aida Garza