Introducing: Ms. Angela Ford
Surprisingly, she’s only been working at Bear’s Den for about a year, since last August. Before this job, she worked at Olive Garden. “The Olive Garden,” she said. “I still love the chicken scampi.” She loves Bear’s Den food, too, especially the hot wings and the buffalo chicken wrap.
Ms. Angela’s an award winner as well. Last year at Freshman Finale for the Class of 2014, she won the Outstanding Bon Appétit Staff award. “It was like winning a million bucks; how ’bout that? It was the nicest thing that could have happened to me, like winning the lottery,” she said with the slightest hint of tears in her eyes. “I keep it on my kitchen mantle for everyone to see.”
But many Wash. U. students don’t know about Angela’s life outside of Wash. U. She was born and raised in St. Louis by Clara and Jimmy Ford. Her dad and her brother, Christopher, run the family business, Ford Pallets, a company that supplies and sells pallets. “If I wanted the students to know one thing about me, it’d be my awesome dad. I try to go and shoot pool with him. We really don’t get a chance to do that cause he works a lot, and I work a lot, but it’s the most fun thing I’ve ever done. And my mom, she’s a homemaker. She bakes cakes too. Her best is caramel cake. I could go all day about those cakes,” Angela said.
Angela is a proud mother of four daughters. “Three biological daughters and a stepdaughter whom I claim to be my own,” she said. Her stepdaughter Kunesha works at a hair salon and “is going to own her own shop one day,” Angela says. Kunesha has a husband and two children. Anisha is Angela’s oldest daughter, and she also works at a hair salon. Charnice just earned a promotion to a Customer Service position at Wal-Mart. Angela’s youngest daughter, Tanisha, works at McDonald’s right now but wants to be a lawyer. Angela absolutely beamed as she mentioned all of this.
Her husband, Jerry Love, also works at Bear’s Den. He started out three years ago as a porter but now works as a baker. They met in 2000. Angela was all grins as she recounted their story: “Oh my god, I met him in a club. It was down off of Riverview Circle. I was with my cousin, and she was with her boyfriend, and [Jerry] was with his brother, and he was like ‘Man, who is that?’” They ended up dancing, exchanged numbers and took it from there.
From a young age, Angela had always wanted to get married on June 12—her birthday. So on that date in 2004, her family threw a huge wedding party for her at St. John’s Baptist Church. “I had 15 bridesmaids, two ringbearers, two flower girls, a boy to ring the bell,” she said. “The wedding was at four, but it didn’t start until five. I was late!” The couple’s first dance was to the Ginuwine song “Differences/My Whole Life Has Changed.”
Angela is a huge sports fan as well. Lately, Angela is most excited about the Cardinals in World Series—they’re her favorite sports team. She likes the Rams too, “even though they’re not winning,” she added with a laugh. She also roots for the Green Bay Packers and the Chicago Bears. “[Chicago Bears head coach] Lovie Smith used to be a Rams coordinator, so I gotta root for him,” Angela said, displaying a surprising knowledge of football. St. Louis doesn’t have a basketball team, so she likes the Lakers. “Everybody doesn’t like the Lakers, but I do,” she explained cheekily.
In her spare time, Angela loves to go bowling and go-kart riding. One day, she wants to go horseback riding as well. She loves to play the board game Trouble with her family and eat butter pecan ice cream. The best trip she’s ever taken was to Cincinnati for a family reunion this past May.
So next time you’re in Bear’s Den, ask Angela how her day went. Give her a hug. Compliment her hair—recently she’s been working the pigtails. Ask her about her daughters, her husband, her grandchildren or her parents. She’s radiant when she talks about her family. Most of all, let her know you care. We’re her babies, after all.