What do you do?
Where do you work and what is your title?
I was born and raised in Colorado Springs. I own and operate Susie’s Westside Cafe, a small breakfast and lunch diner on South 21st Street.
What do you do there and/or what are you responsible for?
I wear many hats. I’m the baker of pies, biscuits and cinnamon rolls. I am the maker of the soups, chili and gravy. I do the scheduling and bookkeeping, a lot of the grocery shopping and cleaning. I am also the grill cook when Fredy is off, and the waitress when Ronna or LeAna are off.
How long have you been doing this kind of work (total)? How long on the Westside?
My uncle owned the Cup and Saucer Cafe off Platte Avenue. I started helping him when I was 12 years old. I worked as a waitress many years at different locations around the Springs area. My sister and I were partners in My Sister’s Kitchen for several years. I have worked in this industry for more than 40 years in all, and I am about to celebrate the third annivesary of Susie’s Westside Cafe.
What do you like best about it (other than quitting time)?
What I like best is that it is a people business and I love being around people. Our customers are awesome, and many have become like family. Also, I love the people I work with. My brother Joel always has my back, along with co-worker Tina who mans the kitchen for prep and checks in the deliveries. Fredy, my talented grill cook, can be watched from the counter seats as he prepares your meal. Ronna and LeAna are my hard-working, smiling waitresses. For the most part, I have been blessed to have such a wonderful team of employees.
If you could change one thing (other than pay), what would it be?
I would have more hours in each day. I feel as though I never get enough time to just sit and visit with my customers and friends.
What part of your work did your training/education never prepare you for?
Times when the owner has to deal with employee theft or employee drug and alcohol addictions. The owner has to fire and hire. I do not like this part of it, however, it is an unfortunate reality of being in business.
What makes working on the Westside special?
Working on the Westside is special mostly because of the people. The Westside is like a small town and everyone is friendly. Also the Westside is special for being close to the best attractions of Colorado Springs. In my opinion that would be our majestic mountains.
“What do you do?” is a regular feature in the Westside Pioneer. If you know someone who has an interesting job on the Westside (but doesn’t live here), he/she might be a candidate for this column! If you know someone who might qualify, give us a call at 471-6776.