Five Questions–Lily Whelan

After sixteen years and countless memories (and happy cappies, her shift drink of choice) it’s time for us to say goodbye to our friend and co-worker, Lily Whelan. It’s almost as hard to imagine Pastiche without her as it is to imagine it without the Fruit Tart, but all good things must come to an end. We all wish her the best of luck in her new management role over at Julian’s.

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How did your life with Pastiche get started?

There was a little sign on the wall that said ‘Looking for part-time help’ and the whole time I kept thinking ‘Yeah this would be a good place to work.’ I just remember thinking everyone was so friendly and being excited to try everything. When Brandt interviewed me he was like, ‘So you worked at an ice cream place, what makes you think you can work here?’ The pressure was on.

After 16 years how have things changed?

It wasn’t as busy back then,” she says of her early years in the cafe. “The days were quieter. Nights were really busy, but it’s definitely grown. We didn’t even decorate the plates with sauces. It was sort of like, ‘Hey let’s play with the raspberry sauce on this plate of Torta,’ and that’s how that caught on. We even had a square cake at one point. I don’t even remember how we cut it!

What have you enjoyed most about your time here and what do you think you’ll miss?

The great thing about Pastiche is that we value input from customers and employees. There’re a lot of things that we all bring to it. You’re part of a team, but you’re also part of a family.

I’ve watched people come in on first dates, then later wearing wedding bands, then with their kids. Being a part of people’s lives for so long, it’s been nice watching grandchildren grow from babies to teenagers. And then having those same customers ask me about my daughters and what I’m doing. They know us.

I’m going to miss the smell of the Carrot Cake baking, and a rugelach right out of the oven. Even just being a part of people’s big night out, and watching them take that first bite.”

What is your favorite dessert here?

I can’t pick one, it’s like picking a favorite child! (laughs). The cookies? The Fruit Tart? The specials? It’s hard

Are you still going to do the menu chalkboards?

I hope so! Amy asked me and I’d love to keep doing them. I can’t imagine that I’m going to be a stranger here.