Through the cafeteria, past the shelves of various refreshments and behind the left sandwich counter stands the woman referred to by Evan Horowitz ’15 as a “goddess.” Sporting a worn Staples cap, black non-slip shoes and a white apron over her Chartwells polo, Amber Egervari operates one of the two sandwich lines, which act as the epicenter of the cafeteria.
Although many students, including Horowitz, rave about Egervari’s divine sandwich-making prowess, she remains humble. “I don’t remember all of [the orders],” she laughed. “I mess them up all the time.” A few slip-ups are to be expected since Egervari faces ceaseless barrages of sandwich orders.
Every day for three 30-minute blocks, both lines are ablaze with students anxiously awaiting their meals. Egervari once counted and found that she averages about 200 sandwiches per day. Contrary to popular belief, Egervari’s hectic day does not only begin at the first lunch bell.
Egervari arrives at Staples at 6 a.m. For the hours leading up to lunch, she sets up the breakfast options, assembles sandwiches for the panini machine and makes gluten-free meals for the elementary schools. As lunch draws closer, Egervari prepares the deli area for the coming storm of hungry students.
“That’s the busiest time of the day, but it’s also the fastest time,” Egervari said. “It is just one big giant lunch wave. It never slows down.”
Neither does she.
“Amber is a sandwich-making machine,” Horowitz said. “Even on the most crowded days, the wait never exceeds 10 minutes or so.” As one of Egervari’s faithful customers, Horowitz has thoroughly enjoyed his four years with her and already misses her dearly. “I love her, and I always will,” he said.
Egervari also has developed an especially close relationship with this senior class since she knows most of them from her time in the Coleytown cafeteria six years ago
“They’re outgoing. They’re just a fun group of kids,” Egervari said with a nostalgic smile. “I’m going to miss them a lot.”
Ironically enough, Egervari’s own two kids do not like sandwiches. “I’m like, ‘I could make you a killer sandwich,’” she laughed. “But they just don’t like them!”
Egervari’s biological children may not enjoy the skill she has mastered, but her Staples kids will forever remember the artfully crafted wraps, flatbreads and ciabattas that are a beacon of light on a stressful day.