Sunshine on Cloudy Day

Sunshine on a Cloudy Day: Jenn Cabral Brightens Students’ Days

If you have classes in Plangere or are a communication student, you probably know Jenn in the coffee shop downstairs. If it wasn’t for her, we would not have the luxury of getting a hot coffee and toasted bagel to keep us awake in an 8:30 a.m. class.

Her kindhearted attitude, bubbly nature, and infectious laughter can easily bring a smile to your face, just like her usual greeting, “Hey sweetheart, what can I get you today?”

A Long Branch local, Jenn Cabral, has worked on campus with Gourmet Dining for 22 years. Before this, she worked at a drug rehabilitation center and as a front desk receptionist for a hotel.

She loves Monmouth University, but what she loves most about it is the coming and going of college students.

Interacting with all of Monmouth’s students and faculty is one of the biggest highlights of her day. Jenn says this is her home away from home.

“I see you guys as my family, I take care of you and I feed you guys day after day.” She truly cares about the students she serves. That is more than evident in the way she has students test their coffee or smoothie before heading back to class.

Shannon Lawrence, a junior music industry student said, “You can tell she really loves her job by the way she acts. She is so outgoing and always strikes up a conversation with me or my friends when we pass by or are getting our morning breakfast. She even knows some people’s orders already by the time they walk in.”

When Jenn is not working on campus, she enjoys reading, singing, and simply relaxing.

Even though she loves her job, she deserves rest and relaxation after helping student after student, making coffee after coffee. Jenn has always been one to never complain about anything that comes her way, she tackles it head on, independently and usually with a smile on her face. 

A senior communication student, Kayla Cardona, loves Plangere’s little coffee shop.

“I spend most of my time in that building and its super convenient when I need a quick snack or coffee. Jenn, however, is what makes that little shop so wonderful! She always greets me with a smile and is super nice. It’s always such a pleasure being around her,” she said.

Former communication student and graduate, Jimmy Fanizzi, loved the smoothies from Plangere’s little shop. Fanizzi can usually be found in the radio station as he still does a radio show with WMCX. Occasionally, he will see Jenn and pick up a smoothie before doing his three-hour show.

“It’s very convenient. Everyone is always on the go, so it’s very helpful to have that coffee shop there for students and faculty. And Jenn is a sweetheart! She always treats everyone so well and knows exactly what everyone needs.”

Since Jenn cares about all of us so much and sees us as family, I asked her what is one piece of advice she would give us students.

She emphasized the importance of studying and keeping our heads in the books because it’s a tough world out there and a degree is important.

“You have to live your life because there is much more to life than working and money. Regardless of what you go through in life, you have to make time for yourself and take care of yourself…it’s important to do what you love,” she said.

So while we are here working towards a degree, we are lucky to have Jenn caring for us and making delicious coffees and smoothies along the way.

PHOTO TAKEN BY Alexandria Afanador