For yrs, Hammond created the trek from Mexico to Bozeman to go to her sister, Alba, and brother-in-legislation Curtis Jeffries. Traveling by bus, she hand-carried scarce items this kind of as chilis, and Jamaica, the drink designed with infused hibiscus bouquets.
On one particular of her journeys, the bus she was riding broke down in New Mexico. She reloaded on to a bus heading to Wyoming, later transferring to Bozeman. Serendipitously, Robert Hammond, a experienced truck driver, had abandoned his broken-down rig in Denver, and was also making an attempt to get again to Montana.
Robert, who was on the exact same bus, provided his aid in carrying her merchandise. “I was suspicious,” Hammond suggests with a chuckle. “But he helped me and I was grateful.”
All through her visits to Bozeman, she cooked at the Bozeman La Tinga, owned by her sister Alba Jeffries and brother-in-law Curtis. The few opened their restaurant in 2005, showcasing relatives recipes from the Yucatan in Mexico. A single day Robert appeared at the cafe. “He arrived in excess of to La Tinga. He just showed up.” That chance experience led to marriage 6 months later, and Hammond’s relocation to Billings.
She found janitorial work in Billings to quickly get operate at her sister’s restaurant in Bozeman. Hammond later on made the decision to function her personal enterprise nearer to household, opening a La Tinga in Billings in 2012.