After making more than an estimated quarter million sandwiches, the legend of Mary Duffy, the Sandwich Lady, is coming to an end.
Duffy announced her retirement Monday after 10 years at St. Thomas by putting a sign up on her station informing students that she will miss them dearly.
“I love the BINZ; I love the people I work with. I love it all,” she said. “It’s like saying goodbye to 2,000 of my kids.”
Duffy said she decided to leave her position at St. Thomas to pursue other opportunities, and it was not an easy choice.
“I still have some working years, and I just want to try something new,” she said.
Students will have two more weeks to eat one of Duffy’s famous sandwiches, but freshman Gaby Lozada said she was sad when she heard the news.
“Mary the Sandwich Lady makes probably the best sandwiches that I have ever had in my life,” Lozada said. “These things are spectacular.”
Freshman Angela Koppen said she was disappointed by Duffy’s announcement as well.
“I come here every day,” Koppen said. “It’s definitely the best part of the BINZ.”
Like Koppen, sophomore Lesley Salz and junior Kaila Severson frequently visit the BINZ and will miss Duffy’s presence.
“It’s going to be really sad to not have Mary brighten our day, compliment us on what we’re wearing and fill her in on what’s going on in our lives,” Salz said.
Duffy said the people at St.Thomas are what she will miss the most.
“I’m going to miss the two hours every day that kids come in and brighten up my day,” Duffy said. “My co-workers are some of my best friends, and it’s all hard.”
Though Duffy is a major draw for the BINZ, she said she is not worried about the BINZ’s success in the future.
“There’s no short of talent in the cooking department there,” Duffy said. “I think it will be fine.”
However, junior Justin Tucker said that the BINZ is going to be a different place without Duffy.
“I’m a little devastated to be honest,” Tucker said. “I’m happy that she’s doing something for herself, but it’s going to be sad to not have her here next year.”
Salz said that she is sad that her brother, an incoming freshman, will not be able to meet Duffy and experience her sandwiches.
“She’s probably one of the most welcoming people at St. Thomas,” Salz said. “I can’t believe she’s doing this to us.”
Baihly Warfield can be reached at email@example.com.