Walking into Lawrence Dining Hall on a Friday, I can almost always count on one thing: a delicious crepe served with a caring smile. Ever since I’ve been at West Chester, Lawrence has been featuring made-to-order crepes every Friday to all dining hall patrons. And just as good as the crepes are, the woman behind them is twice as splendid.
Norma León-Colón, known to many as simply Norma, has been the face behind West Chester’s crepes for almost five years now. Every Friday, she sets up her station in the Side Cafe for a few hours during the lunchtime rush to give students a different dining option.
The flavor changes from week to week. One Friday might offer up a tempting ham and cheese option, while another could present a nostalgic, sweet number (Hot Fudge Sundae, anyone?).
The thing to do is to ask around and see if anyone has checked out what the flavor of the week is. If that doesn’t pan out, then there’s no shame in walking up to the station to see for yourself, or just going into the line blind if you’re feeling risky. Whichever way you choose, you more than likely won’t be let down.
After waiting in line for what may seem like an eternity, when the time for you to step up and receive your crepe finally comes, Norma’s caring smile and cheerful banter set loose all of your previous anxieties. While waiting for my crepe to be ready, I always find it best to strike up a conversation with Norma. She’s one of the most easy-going and easy-to-talk-to employees that you can find at Lawrence.
When she’s not making made-to-order crepes on Fridays, Norma is hard at work in the Lawrence bake shop. She prepares everything from Baker Bob’s cookies and cupcakes to the scratch-made granola served at breakfast. Us college students do go through sweets like it’s nobody’s business, so Norma definitely has her work cut out for her.
I recently got a chance to talk with Norma about some of her favorite aspects of her job. She let me in on what her favorite crepe flavor is (“Raspberry and chocolate!”) and what really makes her job worthwhile.[pullquote align=”left” speaker=”Norma”]I enjoy seeing the faces of the students, the pleasure they get when they see the crepe all done. That really, really makes me feel good, that I’m making that person feel good.[/pullquote]
“I enjoy seeing the faces of the students, the pleasure they get when they see the crepe all done. That really, really makes me feel good, that I’m making that person feel good,” she said.
To have an employee that receives nothing but joy from doing her job is something truly special. In the grand scheme of things, Norma may just be that secret ingredient that makes Lawrence (and West Chester University) all the more appetizing.
Be sure to check out what delicious crepes Norma will be serving on Fridays come fall semester!
Rachel Alfiero is a third-year student majoring in communication studies with a minor in Latin American studies. She can be reached at RA806657@wcupa.edu.