Good eats at Momma D’s food stand



Destiny Gardner (10) helps food stand owner Diana Gardner sell snacks to many students every day after school. On the green tablecloth, there is an array of snacks students can choose from.

Diana Gardner serves various snacks like chips, snow cones and nachos. Gardner listens to the recommendations of students and plans to add warm snacks like hot chocolate, cinnamon rolls and muffins. (ELLEN TAN//THE SCROLL)
Diana Gardner stirs the crockpot with cheese before pouring a scoop for the nachos. She makes sure the cheese and ice are crushed before opening her booth to students.

When the bell rings at 2:15 p.m., students rush out of White Station’s doors. Some of them go home immediately, while others wait in line to buy snacks from Diana Gardner, also known as Momma D. Momma D’s business lies off the corner of the freshman building’s parking lot and attracts dozens of students daily.

Currently, Gardner sells nachos, snow cones and many other snacks at different prices. She has adjusted the price to make the snacks accessible to students that rely on allowances, part-time jobs or even have no jobs.

“I would recommend [this business] for people who are just hungry after school,” Audrey Webb (10) said. “Just something quick, and I can guarantee it’s not going to be bad. It’s cheap, and it’s not overpriced, in my opinion.”

On top of being considerate with her prices, Gardner also aims to be generous with the portions, which makes her business even more popular among students.

“She puts a lot [of toppings] on her stuff,” Webb said. “She puts so much of the snowcone syrup in your snowcone, and she puts a lot of cheese on the nachos … I don’t know if that is good for her business-wise, but I like [that as a customer].”

Gardner begins preparing her goods around noon to make sure everything is in stock and will still be warm throughout her distribution. She starts selling as soon as students get out of school and finishes around 3:00 p.m. to 3:30 p.m.

“I have to make sure everything is fully stocked,” Gardner said. “I have to make sure my ice is crushed … I do have to make sure [that] the cheese is hot. Just have everything ready to prep on time. I [prepare] at least two hours before [opening] time [approaches].”

Gardner plans to improve her business by adding new products and taking recommendations from students. For example, as the weather cools down, she plans on adding treats that warm the body, such as hot coffee, cinnamon rolls and muffins.

“I get a lot of feedback from the students,” Gardner said. “I ask them: ‘What do they like? What would they like to see me bring?’ I am constantly adding to the inventory.”

Gardner began her business after she quit her job due to a disability and because she was having a baby. By selling snacks, Gardner is able to provide support for her family and send her youngest child to a private school. Gardner previously worked in a juvenile facility, so interacting with White Station students is not a difficult task.

“I have been developing relationships with a lot of [students],” Gardner said. “I look forward to seeing them as they are with me. To add to it, a lot of them don’t notice it, but the tablecloth is green, and it represents White Station colors.”

Gardner enjoys seeing students’ faces light up and giving them something they look forward to at the end of the school day. She believes that her impact will be felt as she integrates into the White Station community through the interactions, advice and respect she gives to students as young adults buying treats.

“I am just thankful for [the students], as well as they are thankful for me,” Gardner said. “I just appreciate [their] company, [their] laughs and their comedic talk.”