Not your average cup of joe… Ann Smith of Holy Grounds

Kerry Lester

A stay-at-home mom for 25 years, Ann Smith was nervous about going back to work. What kind of job would she get? Her son, a junior in college, suggested applying for a Dining Services position at his college campus-Villanova.

“Mom,” he said, “anyone can work for the Dining Services.”

So, in 1988, Smith joined the Villanova staff. Over the last 12 years, she has made a lasting mark on the University community. Since 1998, she has worked at the Holy Grounds in the Connelly Center. To many students, she is as vital a part of campus as the coffee shop itself.

When I mentioned to friends I would be writing an article on Smith, many of them expressed to me how much they love her.

“She just makes my day,” said freshman Cathy Peterman. “She’s so cheerful and happy. She passes it on to everyone she encounters.”

Smith loves her position at Holy Grounds. Her favorite part of the job is the people. She especially loves getting close to the students who work there. The hardest part of the job, she says is “keeping the lines down. I feel guilty if the kids have to wait a long time to get their coffee.”

Does she get coffee and muffins for free at Holy Grounds? No, Smith has to pay for them just like the rest of us. One perk of the job, however, is that it follows a similar pattern to the academic schedule for the students. Smith enjoys getting summer vacations.

She lives nearby, in the town of Radnor. Her family is Villanova to the extreme. Her husband, Bob, is a graduate of Villanova. He’ll be attending his 45th reunion here this summer. Her two sons, Bob and Michael, are also graduates from ’88 and ’90, respectively.

She also has a grandson, Ryan, who is three and a half.

So, the next time you have an urge for that cappuccino, head over to Smith in Holy Grounds. The coffee will be great, but it’s the service that’s out of this world. Thanks, Ann.