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MAC coffee cart lady pours on personality

Cheyenne Makinia , Photography Editor
October 31, 2013
Filed under Life, Top Stories

Just around the corner in Mary Ann Cofrin Hall is one of UW-Green Bay’s hidden gems. Her name is Marie Schmitt, also known as the MAC coffee cart lady.

For those who are not familiar with Marie, she welcomes everyone with a big smile and a genuine greeting.  She always asks how you are and tells you to have a nice day.

“It’s hard not to have a good day after gabbing with Marie and getting a nice cup of coffee,” said Cassie Alfheim, junior arts management major.

One of Marie’s favorite hobbies is talking to people.

“I have always worked with people, and I find that to be the most fascinating part of my job,” Marie said.

Marie was born and raised in Green Bay, and before coming to UWGB five years ago with A’viands, she worked as a bartender, a waitress and ran a kitchen and catering service, Steiner Vending and Catering, for almost 10 years.

“I love, love my job,” Marie said. “Every day is different.”

Not only does she appreciate the opportunity to talk to people, but she also loves the people she works with. She especially appreciates her new boss.

“This year I have an excellent boss, Dan Jacques,” Marie said. “He cares very much about the employees and customers, which helps make a big difference on me loving what I do. You tell him a customer is unhappy about something, and something is done about it.”

Marie is known for her energy and the service she provides. Susan Gallagher-Lepak, the chair of the Professional Program in Nursing, brought a few new people to the MAC Hall coffee cart to meet Marie.

“Marie is like energy,” said Gallagher-Lepak. “No matter when you see her, she’s got energy. We love her to pieces. Not only do you get the best cup of coffee on campus, you get Marie.”

“She brings five-star service to the campus,” said Lidia Nonn, director of Office of Grants and Research.

Diane Romwald, Marie’s best friend, works at the Rosewood Café in Wood Hall. The two have a friendly competition to see who can get more students to their location.

“She’s perfect for the job,” Romwald said. “She really cares about people, she truly wants to know about people and she remembers. She really does love her student­­ — she cries at the end of the year.”

Anna Joll, sophomore psychology major, had a friend going through a rough time. Joll and her friend’s roommate both love owls, and saw that Marie had owls out on the MAC coffee cart.

“We wanted to get one for our friend who was struggling so much,” Joll said. “Unfortunately they weren’t for sale by Marie, but when we told her about our friend’s troubles she gave us one for free and told us she would buy two for us if we both brought her $5 the next week. It was so great how much she was so willing to help a freshman girl she had never met.”

Amanda Vonckx, senior design arts major, appreciates the customer service at the MAC Hall coffee cart.

“Marie is extremely genuine and always puts a smile on my face,” Vonckx said. “She never rushes students, but instead pays attention to each one and truly cares.”

Taking her time and making sure customers are happy is what Marie is all about.

“People think I am happy because I am at the coffee cart, but I am happy because of the people there,” Marie said.

One thing that Marie loves even more than her job is her family.

“My family is number one,” Marie said. “They are a huge part of my life.”

She has been married to her husband Paul for 17 years and she has four children and four grandchildren. . She loves to go camping, read and spend any time with her family. She also enjoys spending her favorite season, summer, outdoors with her baby Kuma, her 7-year- old black lab.

Marie is not the only member of her family who is part of the UWGB community, her mother, Joyce Dirschl, is involved in UWGB’s Institute for Learning in Retirement.

“My mom is a really huge influence on my life,” Marie said.  “She is a very positive person.”

One of her favorite TV shows, which also is centered around family, is “Duck Dynasty.”

“Even though the Robertsons have money, they don’t act like they do,” Marie said. “They are down to earth, and they’re redneck. It’s just a good wholesome Christian show. I can sit in a room and laugh out loud through the whole thing.”

Marie and Dan look forward to the crossword in the Fourth Estate every Thursday. When they noticed it wasn’t there, they created one of their own, which is featured below.

Marie can be found, with a smile on of course, at the MAC Hall coffee cart Monday through Thursday 7:45 a.m. to 2:30 p.m. and Friday 7:45 a.m. to 1 p.m.