Since she was young, Sandra Mason has had a passion for cooking, and in 2011 she opened her first restaurant and bakery, Four Kings in Universal City.

“I have worked for years in the kitchen, and I have worked as an executive chef for a catering company, but I have been cooking since I was 10 years old,” she said.

After working in other kitchens throughout her life, Mason wanted a place where she could make her own recipes and cook things that the people around her enjoy.

“A lot of places I worked, you had to follow the standard operating procedures and follow the requests exactly,” she said.

Mason said at first she was afraid to start her own restaurant, because she had seen some statistics that showed one out of every five restaurants closes within the first year of business.

Four Kings started with only a few tables and a small space but she was able to expand three times within the first year of being open due to the popularity.

What was originally planned as a takeout-style restaurant became a lunch hangout for the community.

In 2016, the restaurant decided to split the sandwich shop and bakery to make more room for guests.

Now, Mason has the help of her daughter, Jillian Parker, who helps operate the restaurant with a staff of employees who are treated as family.

On the menu, the restaurant boasts sandwiches, soups, salads and desserts. In the bakery, guests can buy cookies, cakes, fresh baked breads and more.

The restaurant also offers prepared meals each week that customers can purchase and take home to warm up.

Mason said Four Kings takes pride in making everything from scratch on the menu, which helps when customers have specific allergies.

The restaurant’s most popular dishes include the banh mi, the vegetarian and the turkey sandwiches.

“We have people that live out near SeaWorld that come out here on Saturdays, just to get [banh mi],” Mason said. “Then we have people that come from Austin and all over.”

Specials are also offered each day, which adds to the menu’s variety. Mason said she wants to leave a legacy for her family and a legacy for the community where people can continue to enjoy good food and socialize with each other.

“We just want to take care of each other, and take care of our family and community,” Mason said. “They have given so much to us by standing up for us and recommending us to other customers. If you give to your community, they will take care of you.”