At the end of this month, Katy Chumbley, Concord C.C. Café’s on-site manager, is retiring after an impressive 32 years of service. One of the first things you notice about Katy is her calm demeanor. As racks of food are wheeled through the kitchen and food trays are being prepared by busy volunteers and served to a room full of hungry guests you get the sense that this is a finely tuned operation with Katy quietly directing it all from behind the steaming bank of food warmers.
Katy started with the Café in 1985 when it was opened for City of Concord employees. In 1987 Meals on Wheels Diablo Region (formally known as Meals on Wheels and Senior Outreach Services) took over management of the café and hired Katy as on-site manager. When asked about changes she’s seen over the years she quickly responds with a chuckle, “There’s more paperwork!” She also notes that there are now more food choices offered at the cafe. “When I started and for a long time after, there was one meal only and that’s what you got. Now we have choices for people with different needs like vegetarian and gluten- free.” Katy has also noticed how the guests have changed. “The seniors that used to come here were usually in their 60s and 70s. Now I often see some in their 80s and 90s, so they are definitely living longer.”
The outright affection that guests and volunteer staff have for Katy is obvious. Annette, a volunteer who serves at the café every Tuesday and Wednesday says, “Everyone loves Katy! I have never heard anything but positive things about her.” She remembers that her husband David who was a Colonel in the Airforce was a stoic man who didn’t warm up to people easily but was a big fan of Katy’s, often doing extra tasks to help her out. Katy believes that the secret to getting along well with people is remembering their name. “It shows them that you’re interested in who they are.”
She has simple plans for her retirement. “I am looking forward to waking up and not having to be anywhere on time. I plan on working around my house. I’ve put a lot of work into my house and the backyard and I love to stay home and have my family visit me. I might come and have a meal at the café in a couple of months so that I can see my friends.”
Katy, you will be missed, but on behalf of the thousands of seniors that you have served over the years and the countless lives you've touched, we here at Meals on Wheels Diablo Region wish you many years of happiness. We thank you for your years of hard work and your dedication to supporting seniors!
The Concord CC Café Hot Lunch Program, offered through Meals on Wheels Diablo Region (MOWDR) is for adults 60+ years of age. Meals are served daily at 11:30a.m. Contact the Café at 925. 825.1488 between 9:00 AM. - 11:30 AM to make your reservation 24 hours in advance. For more information and a current menu, visit www.mowdiabloregion.org/cc-cafes.