Joe Cottam: Out to change the world (one chip at a time)

He’s known for his delicious Mexican food, yummy chips and salsa and fantastic guacamole fresco. But more importantly, he’s known for being a kind, generous and caring individual. Can you guess who our November Warms the Heart recipient is? His name is Joe Cottam and he’s part of the family owned and operated Bella’s Fresh Mexican Grill located in Farr West.

When we first contacted Joe about being the Warms the Heart recipient, we learned something else about him — that he is extremely humble. This big-hearted guy gives and gives to so many individuals and organizations in the community yet prefers to stay behind the scenes expecting no recognition at all.

“I’m just your average Joe, trying to be a decent human being,” he said.

But those who know this guy, know pretty well that he is not “your average Joe.”

Joe has been described by others as being “one in a million,” “one of my favorite humans on the planet,” and “an amazing person,” just to name a few.

“It’s weird because he’s in the limelight so much but he doesn’t enjoy having the spotlight on him,” laughed his sister Terri Strand. “That’s the thing about Joe, he’s pretty humble about that kind of stuff.”

She goes on to say how Joe is always on the go, always helping others and is currently helping his parents remodel their home — the two people who have molded him into the person he is today.

Joe did not want to be recognized for Warms the Heart without the mention of his parents.

“Everything I do, I’ve learned from my parents,” he said.

On Bella’s website it reads, “Giving is part of our family tradition and has been engrained in us since childhood, thanks to our parents. Dad would have been much wealthier if he were not constantly thinking of others.”

Joe’s parents have worked at Bella’s since they opened 20 years ago. They don’t expect anything from the restaurant only the satisfaction of their children and their grandchildren having jobs and being able to serve the community.

All of that along with the life theme of “live, laugh, love and eat well,” is how Joe Cottam, along with his family, are changing the world, one chip at a time.

 

 

 

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