Sandra continues to use the lessons her mother passed on in her personal and professional life. Before she brings anything into her home, Sandra says she takes the time to read labels and see what ingredients have been added. "If you can't pronounce it, you probably shouldn't be putting it in your body or in your environment," she says.
When Sandra opened her first restaurant, Bess Bistro, in Austin in 2006, she insisted that the same standards apply. Instead of sending customers home with plastic utensils and cups, Sandra says she buys biodegradable materials. For instance, the takeout containers may look Styrofoam, but they are actually made from sugar cane.
Tour Sandra's eco-friendly Austin eatery.
"It's just a few cents," she says. "I think we're absolutely worth it—those few extra pennies [help] to make sure that we have a beautiful earth."