Back on the Bank: Chef Cat, Changing the Cafe One Snack at a Time

Taylor Johnson

The cafe is moving on to become more tech-savvy and modern, “like a restaurant.”




I walked into the cafe, asked where Cat was, and was led to a messy table in the back covered with papers. It was one of the tables, where pre-Covid, students would have been eating a cookie and laughing.  

Cat, or Cathleen Chartier, is the cafe manager who has been working at Lovett for 13 years. She came to Lovett looking for a happy environment and to build relationships after a minor setback in her life. It looks to me like she has gotten what she wished for. 

Similar to Cat, I “love to cook.” Imagine having a job where you just get to cook all day. It was working at restaurants “FOH” (front of the house) and interacting with customers that drew her to “learn how to cook and get a degree in Culinary Arts.”

Like many others, Cat feels summer was just “too short.” She explained to me how this summer the cafe prepared lunches for the summer camps, so it was a busier summer than normal. 

The cafe is moving on to become more tech-savvy and modern, “like a restaurant.” There is new software that will allow customers to order online. “We will get the orders from the printer, which is also new.”    

I asked about how Covid has been affecting the cafe and she paused before acknowledging how tired we all are of it after nearly two years. In terms of the cafe, Covid impacted the availability of products so it was harder to get certain things. It also affected the price of the products but the cafe didn’t want to raise prices too much. 

On a more personal level, one of the hardest things about Covid for Cat is masks. “I can’t recognize people I did before,” she said.

When she’s not cooking, or doing paperwork in a cafe booth, she hits the road.  “I love riding my motorcycle,” she said. 
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