Daisy Flores is the daughter of the manager and cook at Tia Gladys Restaurant in San Gabriel. While growing up helping her father and family with the restaurant, she learned a wide array of life skills, without her being entirely conscious of it.
While attending college Daisy found a new appreciation for her time growing up at the restaurant with all the ups and downs. Not only can she now recognize the skills that were acquired during that time, but she also sees the beauty in how she grew up.
Though Daisy still helps her father at Tia Gladys she spends the majority of her work time doing what she went to school for, Social Work.
As a school social worker she helps teachers, children, and the family get the proper resources needed to grow.
It’s been about 35 years since Tia Gladys has existed in San Gabriel Valley. Four years after opening, the owner would shut the restaurant down.
Daisy’s father came in and offered to manage it and has been running it ever since. Her father has run restaurants his whole life, and he has extensive experience.
It’s also tied to Mission Car Wash.
Her father spends all day and all night there. Even on his days off on Mondays, he is always there helping prepare and do paperwork.
When her Tia (aunt) was 3 or 4 years old, she moved to El Puente, but San Gabriel has been huge for Daisy. She went to Rosemead High School for a while.
It can be a beautiful thing, Daisy believes. Sure, there is bickering here and there. But it brings a family together.
Her family isn’t huge; she has three sisters who have helped with the restaurant. One significant way that Daisy has been able to help and push Tia Gladys into the digital age is by working on the restaurant’s social media – specifically TikTok and Instagram.
Unfortunately, Daisy’s parents got divorced, and it’s just Daisy and her father at Tia Gladys. Her sister went her own path, and her mom now works for a different restaurant.
The divorce has made Daisy appreciate the little things a little more.
It was actually the restaurant that gave Daisy the idea of going into social work. She was there all day and night after school.
She understood that it was a lifestyle that her father wanted, but she desired a more structured work/life balance. Instead of a full day, maybe like an 8 to 5 job.
She also remembers when she was 13 years old, there was a very dressed-up restaurant patron that made an impression on Daisy and her father told her that she was a social worker.
This also inspired her to go to college.
Daisy attended Cal State LA, and she went with the intention of getting a job in social work or business. She technically started undeclared, and sociology was what caught her eye.
Now, Daisy is pursuing a Master’s Degree in business.
Looking back, Daisy understands it wasn’t a normal work/life balance. However, she learned a lot from it. College was a major indicator that her upbringing wasn’t typical.
She noticed when she went to college that a lot of other students were scared, and she found herself often speaking up in class the most.
The restaurant taught her confidence, social skills, and time management.
Daisy defines her style as very personal. She likes knowing everyone’s names, and the restaurant has a ton of returning customers. Beyond that, it has turned into generations of customers that have come in. Grandparents, parents, kids, and so on.
Daisy has learned a lot of time management skills from her restaurant experience, but she is still getting the hang of this balance.
She is currently at the restaurant two days a week and does social work full-time.
Her main focus is Rehabilitation, so typically children with disabilities around the age of 0 to 5. She does case management for situations such as mental health, autism, and so on.
She will take time to understand the family dynamics and will make home visits if necessary.
Naturally, Daisy understands that the answer may revolve around a tip.
However, Daisy thinks that a “good” customer is one that minds their manners, is grateful, and values the server’s time.
It was very stressful. The patio was a major change to the restaurant during COVID so that customers could eat comfortably during the pandemic.
Unfortunately, as of the recording of this episode, the city is asking Tia Gladys to stop using the patio.
For the most part, it was heavily taken out during COVID. Daisy was pushing for the restaurant to do DoorDash, GrubHub, and meal delivery services. Even though they take a massive percentage, like about 35%, it helped keep the restaurant alive.
Daisy’s recommendation is to call the restaurant and pick up your food order when possible.
Daisy will still be there to help support her father, and she has goals, but there are other ideas and plans that Daisy has for herself.
For instance, liquor licenses are incredibly expensive. But, Daisy sees it as a major opportunity to open an authentic Mexican cuisine cantina that also serves liquor.
Yes, she does. She actually started her own TikTok about cooking and had a few viral videos. So, she decided that it was a major opportunity for the restaurant to be on TikTok specifically, too.