Joe Momma’s Kitchen is a bright and cheerful local eatery that has been bringing smiles to residents of the MOV since 2014. Run by owners Sarah and Eric Sauls, Joe Momma’s is known for delicious home-style dishes and a fun, generous spirit.
“We were inspired to open Joe Momma’s simply because it’s something we’ve always dreamed of doing. Neither of us have culinary training but we’ve always just wanted to own a little diner and we always joked it would be called Joe Momma’s,” said Sarah. “We always joked that if we won the lottery, we’d go for it.”
It may not have been the lottery, but Sarah and Eric were presented with an opportunity to open at Oak Grove Christian School. “That opportunity allowed us to dip our toes in the water. We were only able to do take out or delivery and it was a safe way to test the waters because it allowed us to still keep our normal jobs,” she said. (Sarah is a nurse and Eric worked for Fire Extinguisher Specialist for over ten years.) “The response was pretty moving. When we discovered the open spot in the Frontier Shopping Center, we felt confident enough to take the big leap of faith to go all in.”
So many people have told us we’re crazy for doing this but really it’s a win-win for us.
What makes Joe Momma’s extra special is their tradition of donating all of their tips to a different local charity each month. “We donate 100% of our tips because we both have lived in and loved this community for most of our lives. We were both raised to understand the importance of giving back and we both have a pretty deep love for this awesome place we get to call home,” said Sarah. “So many people have told us we’re crazy for doing this but really it’s a win-win for us. Every month we’re presented with a new group of people who are coming in to support the organization we’re supporting. When that happens, we gain more customers and also the opportunity to educate our community on a group that is making a positive impact.”
The staff at Joe Momma’s is behind their commitment 100%, and participate in deciding which charity to benefit each month. “Our staff members are also helpful in telling customers about the charities,” Sarah said. “The community seems to really stand behind our commitment to give tips. Each month when the new recipient goes up on the board, our regulars are quick to check it out and see who they’ll be helping this month when they come in for lunch or dinner!”
This community’s love and support of Eric and his brother Jay during that difficult time is one reason he has such a love for this place.
April is a special month to Eric and Sarah. The Bauer Fund is the only organization that JMK supports every year. Mental Health Awareness & Suicide Prevention are topics very near and dear to the Sauls’ hearts. Charles Sauls, Eric’s father was taken from those who loved him dearly as a result of suicide over 20 years ago. “This community’s love and support of Eric and his brother Jay during that difficult time is one reason he has such a love for this place,” said Sarah. “We’ve also lost several friends to drug related losses that are no doubt intertwined with mental health.”
The Bauer Fund was established in honor of the late Grant Bauer and provides microgrants and scholarships to children and adults with mental health issues and developmental delays. The Bauer Fund also provides our community with opportunities for Mental Health and Suicide Prevention education. “It seems Mental Health still carries a stigma with it. We’d like to do all we can to change that,” she said.
In an effort to do more this year, JMK will be featuring art work from the late Eric Johnson, a friend of the couple who was also lost to suicide. “We will finish up the month with an Art Show featuring nearly all of Eric’s collection,” said Sarah. The show will be open to the public on Sunday, April 28th from 2:00 p.m. – 5:00 p.m. A $10 entry fee will be collected at the door with all proceeds benefiting The Bauer Fund. “I think it means a lot to Eric’s family to give back to The Bauer Fund in Eric’s honor,” she said. Joe Momma’s Kitchen is also hosting Dr. Bauer’s Mental Health Aid courses.
“We invite you to join us for lunch or dinner this month! It’s an awesome opportunity to receive a great meal at a great price, while providing a way to give back to a great organization through your tip,” said Sarah. This month you will also be able to enjoy some pretty special art pieces while you enjoy your meal.
Joe Momma’s Kitchen is located in The Frontier Shopping Center between Smoker Friendly & Dollar General. Their hours are Monday-Friday 10:30 a.m. – 7:30 p.m. and Saturday 11:00 a.m. – 3:00 p.m.