LUFKIN, TX (KTRE) - Many in and around the Lufkin community have either heard of or frequent with the popular family restaurant, Mom's Diner.
Just six months ago, the Free family lost Bonnie Hooper Free the diner's namesake.
However they said in spite of the pain from that loss, the family has stuck together to keep the family business going.
On Monday, Mom's Diner will be celebrating their 31st anniversary of serving food to the people in Angelina County.
"One week before Christmas in 1986," said co-manager Terry Gardiner. "It was a Christmas miracle."
It is also a Christmas miracle that is now being featured on the "Texas Bucket List" TV show.
"We get a lot of folks telling us about places and Mom's Diner has always been on our radar," said Shane McAulffe,a host on Bucket List. "I had to feature the Mom's Monster Burger because that looked interesting."
Gardiner said everyone looks forward to their homemade burgers, and one special ingredient they use is love.
"It's because the people that are cooking the food seriously love doing it. It's something that either you love it or you don't do it," Gardiner said
That love began with their mom's idea of starting the diner, and family member said not having her here to experience the special moment is hard, but they are still thankful for the recognition during hard times
It feels great on one hand and a little bit sad on the other because Mom didn't get to stick around and see it. I'd like to give credit to her because she's Mom," Gardiner said.
Mrs. Free taught her children how to stick together and run the family business no matter what.
"Several of us worked here for years, so yes we're still working together to keep the business going," Gardiner said.
Mom's Diner is the first burger joint to be featured on the Texas Bucket List.