Although fresh ground coffee gets most of the publicity when it comes to pleasing aromas to start your morning, visitors to Whitefish Lodge & Suites in Crosslake, Minnesota know that the lightly browned waffles served by the always smiling and charming “Waffle Lady”, Miss Kay, also deserve ample recognition.
Originally from West St. Paul, Miss Kay, who admits that the name most likely originated with Kay Robertson from Duck Dynasty, originally fell in love with the Lakes Area while vacationing and bringing her kids and family to Ox Lake and surrounding area for almost six decades. “I just love the area, it’s a great place for families and kids” she stated. Having worked for Fanny Farmer Candies for 24 years in the Twin Cities, Miss Kay and her husband Leo made the move to the Crosslake/Fifty Lakes area in the year 2000.
Excited to be living in the same place she spent so many family vacations, Kay was interested in finding some part time work to occupy some of her free time. “I had jobs with True Value, Ace Hardware, Dairy Queen, and Lake Country Foods. They were all great companies to work for, but none of them seemed quite right for me”.
It seemed like it was meant to be when an ad for a Breakfast Attendant at a local establishment all but fell into her lap. “I was just darn lucky” to get the job with Whitefish Properties Miss Kay exclaimed. Finally feeling like she had found her calling, there is no place that Miss Kay would rather be. “I am so grateful to work for a company who values and appreciates me. Everyone treats everyone with respect. It really is a great place to work”.
The position initially required the stocking, filling, and cleaning of the complimentary continental breakfast at Whitefish Lodge. “I would keep all of the foods stocked, the tables cleaned, and make sure everyone gets a great breakfast to start their day”. Miss Kay would soon redefine the responsibilities of the breakfast attendant. Realizing that the “do-it-yourself” waffle station sometimes created difficulties for guests, Miss Kay started volunteering to prepare the waffles for them. And she hasn’t looked back since. “Everyone loves the Teddy Bear!” she bellowed.
The one time hat checker at The St. Paul Hotel has been serving the guests of Whitefish Lodge for the past 7 years. “7 very happy years” she added. “I enjoy working with my boss Nancy very much, she’s a great lady. The whole staff is great”. By far her favorite part of the job is “meeting and greeting the people from all over”. Whitefish sees travelers from all over the country, Canada, and from overseas. “Probably the most gratifying part is when a guest comes back to us that hasn’t been here for a number of years, and they still remember me.”
Making an impact and leaving an impression on the many travelers that enter the doors at Whitefish Lodge is all in a day’s work for Miss Kay. The always witty charmer is quick to have an impact on people and bring smiles to their faces. While Miss Kay will contend that she is lucky to have found her calling in the Lakes Area, the staff and guests at Whitefish Lodge know that they are indeed the lucky ones.