Classic Signals: Take me to the coffee shop

By Elise Schoening
Features Editor

Every week, Features Editor Elise Schoening hits the archives and finds old Signals that relate to current College topics and top stories.

Everyone knows Eve and Big Larry. The two Eickhoff Hall employees are a staple of the College community, always there to offer a smile and some encouraging words during a rough week. But over 10 years ago, there was a different celebrity on campus. Edith, 87, ran a small coffee shop in the Student Center. She did more than simply serve students their morning brew. Edith was known as the campus mom, who would offer words of wisdom and comfort students when sick.

Though Edith doesn’t stand much taller than her coffee bar, “Edith’s Place,” she’s a larger-than-life legend among early risers and caffeine cravers.

Edith wakes up every morning at 4 a.m. to go to work in the Student Center, making espressos for her customers students bustling through before class.

Yet, many say that it isn’t just coffee that draws them to Edith’s counter every day.

Since her last name translates to “rooster” in German, it may have been in the cards for her to have the job of waking people every morning. When Edith heard this correlation, she opened her eyes wide and smiled broadly, leaning her head back to let out a crisp laugh. It’s this Edith that students come to see every morning.

Before working for Sodexho, Edith was self-employed in the candy business.

Edith, 87, has been working for the College for 13 years, and has been at “Edith’s Place” for six years. She said the coffee bar was established to relieve traffic from the student center.

“I really like it here,” she said. “The students are wonderful. I haven’t had one that wasn’t nice to me.”

Ask most of her customers, and they’ll say the same of her.

In addition to providing a friendly face each morning, Edith occasionally plays mom in the Student Center, recommending teas to ease ailments.

“If they’re sick, they come to me (and ask), ‘What’s good for a stomach, for a headache?” she said.

Edith not only enjoys conversation with students, but likes to see her customers in their extracurricular activities.

With her youthful smile, easygoing nature and avid ear, you’d think she was a new recruit at the College. She remembers your name and recognizes your face. She always returns a smile and your purchase with a the warm low of her simple “thank you,” all the time, every time. Thank you, Edith.