Beatrice Dubose was only in her teens when she applied for a job with Piedmont Hospital’s Nutrition and Food Services. But at 99 cents an hour, the pay just wasn’t enough.
Luckily for Piedmont employees who dine in Collier Café, she returned 15 years later, in 1967, and accepted a job. For her first 43 years with nutrition and food services, she handled breakfast and entrees. For her last two years, she baked cakes, pies and bread.
“It’s a good place to work. That’s the reason I stayed,” Dubose said. “Nothing comes out of a can. Everything is fresh.”
Dubose retired on April 27, after 45 years of culinary service to the entity. And the hospital honored her with a reception in the 77 Dining Room. Surrounded by family and co-workers, she shared cheerful goodbye with her coworkers and the department that depended on her.
Dubose was not usually one to socialize at work, said Mary Jenks, retail food service manager, who worked with Dubose for 20 years. But she was beloved by coworkers who respected her expertise and effort.
“One of her strengths is her consistency,” said Mary Jenks, retail food service manager. “She’s very dependable. She’s rarely sick. She embodies an impressive work ethic that is very important.”
She also kept in line other employees, who learned that Dubose’s food safety and preparation instructions were gospel. She was essential to the success of the cafeteria, Jenks said.
Dubose is happy to retire, but doesn’t have grand plans. But then she listed her pleasure at focusing on her hobbies of sewing clothes, thrifting and volunteering at Elizabeth Baptist Church. She still plans to bake, especially German Chocolate Cakes. And she revealed that she still wakes up at 3 a.m., as though she were going to work.
“I’m not going to do anything,” she insisted. “I’m going to rest.”
Somehow, that’s hard to believe.