A love of baking has led to a long and enjoyable career for senior citizen, Betty Eddy.
Affectionately known as "Betty the Baker," the Swift Current, N.L., native has been filling dessert displays at the Irving Big Stop in Goobies since 1979.
She’s the creator of the many pies, cakes, and other confectionaries available at the highway establishment, which includes a family diner.
And, at 80 years of age, she has no intentions of turning in her apron anytime soon.
“It hasn’t entered my mind so far,” says Eddy. “Every day I go to work somebody will come in and say, ‘I thought you were retired. You turned 80, aren’t you retired yet?’ and I’ll say, ‘No. I’ll retire when they kick me out,’” she laughed.
Aside from a few specialties, most of her sweets are made from scratch.
It’s a skill she developed over time.
“My mom was a good baker and my grandmother was a good baker, but I didn’t get into it until my later years,” she explained, noting that she attended business school as a young adult. “I worked at that for a while, and then I got married and went to live in the States. Then, I came back and got married again, and settled down here in Newfoundland.
“After that, I just kind of picked it up on my own and it went from there.”
Eddy’s favourite treats to bake are those with sweet dough.
“I really love doing things like cinnamon rolls, butter horns, and Danishes; different things like that,” she says. “And I love baking cakes and decorating them. I used to decorate wedding cakes years ago.”
In the midst of her career, Eddy raised four children. She now has four grandchildren and nine great-grandchildren.
As she continues to supply the Big Stop with her many desserts, Eddy also enjoys a friendship with her boss and coworkers.
And the feeling is mutual. On January 20, they conspired with Eddy’s family to throw her a surprise birthday party at the diner.
Their plans went off without a hitch.
“My husband said he was going to Clarenville to look at a Skidoo and my oldest daughter said she was going to St. John’s that day,” recalls Eddy. “Eventually my youngest daughter said, ‘Mom, I know you want to see Arnold (my boss), if you feel up to it, I’ll take you over for a drive today.’
“When I walked in, I nearly fell to the floor.”
Manager Arnold Hurley had used Facebook to invite the public to the surprise event.
“What a crowd! It was a week before I got over it,” said Eddy. “People I worked with over the years were there who I hadn’t seen in a long time, and my two daughters and my husband were there.”
The photos say it all.
“They are all really good people and my boss is an excellent, awesome person. I’ve been there for almost 40 years. I like baking and I just never bothered to go anywhere else, because that’s what I like to do,” she said.
Eddy takes breaks over the winter months, but will return to full duties in time for the busy tourist season. She also supplies a local chip wagon with treats during the summer.
“I would like to add that my favourite boss, Arnold, is going back to the mainland to an Irving out there, and I am really going to miss him so much because he has been a wonderful person,” she concluded.
In the meantime, Eddy says she’s in great health and won’t be going anywhere.
“If I keep up the way I am, I’m going to be working as long as I can,” she said.