by Melissa Gonzalez-Salinas
featured in the November 2015 issue
Now that I am older, I have a better
understanding of everything you did for
From when I was 13 years old, back in
1993, I have memories of my dad working
endless hours day after day trying
his best to establish what is now known
as The Original Willie's BBQ - on the
corner of business 83 and Alamo, Rd. in
Alamo, TX. I remember working with
him after school everyday, spending my
weekends there as well. I spent many
hours cleaning tables and eventually
learned other responsibilities throughout
the years as the restaurant became
more and more successful.
My dad's commitment to the restaurant
was rewarded. Within a six year
span business grew to the point that we
had to move to a larger location. We relocated
the restaurant to where it is today
at 320 S Alamo Road.
I have a tremendous amount of appreciation
and admiration for the examples
that my dad has set for me over
the years. His influence has played the
primary role in shaping me into the person
I am today. My dad always had a
saying; "If you work really hard, good
things will happen".
Throughout the years my dad has insisted
on providing Thanksgiving dinners
to residents of the Valley who are
less fortunate. He strongly feels that everyone
should have a traditional Thanksgiving
dinner. Every year we pick a different
organization to help reach out to
as many people as needed.
My dad's commitment to hard work
and perseverance has paid huge dividends
over the years. In June 2013,
Texas Monthly magazine featured The
Original Willie's BBQ as one of the 50
Best BBQ Joints in the World.
Another one of my dad's accomplishments
was building Willie's Sweets in
The huge success of Willie's Sweets
combined with the continuing growth of
Willie's BBQ has spawned a new plan of
renovation, now in its beginning stages,
which will bring both restaurants under
one roof in the near future.
My brother Michael and I are now assisting
Dad with the day to day duties
of running Willie's BBQ, while my husband,
Jaime Salinas, manages the operation
of Willie's Sweets.
It takes an uncompromised dedication to start a business and make it succeed. I can truly say that my dad has mastered the BBQ business for over twenty years and going.
I am so very proud to be
Willie Gonzalez's daughter!