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Omaha Magazine

Owners Diamond Simms and Jackee Welch

May 29, 2020 02:47PM ● By Tara Spencer

Diamond Simms
Emery’s Cafe in North Omaha

Simms came to this business in a rather unusual way. 

At the age of 26, she became a partner in a nightclub. “I did hands on working for six months there, bartending, managing, etc.” She eventually walked away from her shares. 

“After that I took off work for about a year in search of another bar or restaurant.” She found the location that is now home to Emery’s Cafe, which she opened with another partner, her mother, Jackee Welch.  

“Everything I have learned from the kitchen to the front of the business I have learned working side by side with my mother.

“Emery’s Cafe opened in hopes of bringing my family back together and creating a legal hustle to pass down for generations to come,” Simms said. “I think it’ll be awesome to see a restaurant started by my family in our community still here in 10, 20, 30 years from now.” 

Simms said for her, being an owner has allowed her the freedom to create a venue that reflects her values. 

“Emery’s Cafe is a gathering place. We have created a space where people want to linger, we have a built-in group of people who want to enjoy who we are and what we do.” 

During the coronavirus quarantine, Simms has seen many changes. Her first thought was, “We
have to close the doors, we won’t be able to work through this.” 

After a little thought and time, she and Welch decided it might actually be better to stay open [for carryout]. “I’m taught where there’s a problem, be a part of the solution,” Simms said. “That is how we came about giving back to the community every week until the end of the pandemic. Times are hard, but I have faith things will get greater later.”

This article was printed in the June 2020 edition of Omaha Magazine. To receive the magazine, click here to subscribe.


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