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Four decades of friendly hellos

Posted by Connor Dalton on February 28, 2024 in News

Roberta Jewers
is often the first face you see when entering the Rowe Building.

She runs the Green Café in the atrium by herself and, on top of coffee and treats, she gives out directions to students who are new to the space.

This month marks 40 years of Roberta working at Dalhousie where she is a key part of the community of students, faculty and staff who study or work in the building. She spent 32 years at the Sir Charles Tupper Medical Building before moving to the Rowe eight years ago.

No matter how long the lineup, she makes time for conversation and remembers the names of most of her regulars. “People here are friendly, welcoming and warm,” says Jewers.

She says that working by herself in the café requires a lot of multitasking, but that’s how she likes it. “I like to keep busy doing things,” she says. It involves a lot of early mornings — she leaves her home in Lower Sackville by 5:30am to get to work on time and get her space ready.  

Roberta is proud that in 2018 she was recognized by her employer, Aramark, with a Ring of Stars Award for her outstanding customer service — which she says was “a total surprise and a huge highlight.” She received an all-expenses paid trip to Boca Raton in Florida and her picture hangs at corporate headquarters.

Renay Clermont is a retail manager at Aramark who has supervised Roberta for the last year. She has come to appreciate Roberta’s dependability and her ability to operate independently.

“She's one of those dream employees,” says Clermont. “She’s incredibly organized and meticulous, and when you talk to her, she’s so warm and caring.”

Outside of work, Roberta likes quilting and going to see her fiancé’s band perform. In the summer, when she’s off, she spends time gardening and relaxing at a family home in Ecum Secum on the Eastern Shore of Nova Scotia.

Her favourite part of her job?

“I’ve stayed for 40 years because of the people,” says Jewers. “It’s nice to make new friends and get to know them on a personal level.”