“Eric. Dana. Woody,” she begins naming the folks who have been on staff longer, “probably only four or five that have been here longer than me.” And for good reason. Ann has found joy in this job and embraces every day.
In reflecting on the many positives of the environment, she notes the high morale among staff. “I know it’s cheesy but we’re like a family,” Ann says with a smile, “it’s nice to keep up with everyone. I might not see someone for a day or two but when we catch up I’m asking them about that place they visited, or that project their kid was working on.”
Not only does Ann have a connection with her coworkers, but she’s also totally embraced her adopted community – and they’ve embraced her. Out and about, folks stop her to ask about her day or to catch up since their last Café visit. In many ways, being a server at Café Alfresco is like being a Dunedin micro-celebrity. And being a micro-celebrity has its perks. “Once, a couple came in for the first time and we got to talking about the area,” Ann tells us, “I told them about Strachan’s down the street, and recommended the pistachio ice cream.” What happened next was incredible. After leaving a generous tip, the couple returned to the Café with an extra pistachio ice cream in hand! Ann was totally shocked, and even more shocked when the same thing happened on their next visit!
“It was so sweet, and totally unexpected,” Ann says, “I couldn’t help but smile for the rest of the day.”