One of the biggest distractions that comes with where Brighton Main Streets’ office is located is not the busyness of Brighton Center, but the
sweet smells coming from our neighbor next door. Abbott’s Frozen Custard has been in Brighton for almost ten years now, and from my desk I
have seen customers both young and old come rushing in when their doors are open. Growing up in Western New York, it was discovering the plaque
in the window that shares that the original Abbott’s Frozen Custard was started in Rochester, NY that made this sweet spot near and dear to
me. What some may not know about this Abbott’s location is that it is owned and operated by Mary Pat and that her staff is majority women.
(Who run the store? Girls!)
Pictured is Mary Pat with Mayor Marty Walsh at “Mayor on Main”.
Upon noticing this, I was curious to see if this work dynamic was having a ripple effect with Mary Pat’s workers. I sat down with three of Mary Pat’s staff to not just talk about their love of Abbott’s but to learn more about the relationships they have with Mary Pat and the rest of the staff. Leah, Beth, and Kadi are some of the more familiar faces behind the counter at Abbott’s, Kadi & Leah both being from Brighton and Beth being a routine opener or closer. Diving right into the conversation I asked has working in this all women environment impacted them in anyway. Leah started off by saying, “This was my first job and it is all because of Mary Pat and the women who worked here, when I started, that I really have come out of my shell. We all can relate on so many levels and find comfort among one another.” The three of them agreed that the female work environment has made their times at Abbott’s one of the best experiences and have helped each grow immensely. Beth adds, “Mary Pat is more than just a boss to me, she has really become a mentor. When I started, I had gone to her about a very uncomfortable encounter with a customer and being a woman in those situations can be so stressful. Mary Pat worked with me and reassured me that ‘No one takes that power away from you. If the customer is making you feel uncomfortable, you ask them to leave. If they don’t, call me and I will be right over.’ and she will, even if it is a Saturday night. Mary Pat has instilled a level of confidence in me where I’m more comfortable taking on leadership roles now.”
Pictured left to right (Leah & Beth).
“I’ve worked for Mary Pat for 6 years, making me the longest standing employee in the Brighton store.”, Kadi said with pride. “All of the girls will joke that I eat, sleep, and breathe Abbott’s and they’re not wrong. Time and time again, Mary Pat has worked with me to accommodate my school and work schedules to make sure the ends are meeting. And it is not just for me, it is for all of her employees.” The three women share various times of how they have seen Mary Pat put her heart and soul into her store. From putting together massive catering orders, climbing ladders and being the store’s handyman, to hopping behind the counter and serving customers, all of them beam when they share stories of their time with Mary Pat. I asked the three of them what they do when they aren’t working at Abbott’s, and their answers made complete sense based off how they feel Mary Pat has invested in them. Leah, when she isn’t managing the store, is working to get her Bachelor’s Degree. Beth is finishing up her Master’s Degree in Library Tech. And Kadi has gone on to take a role as a Project Manager at a marketing agency in Boston. “Abbott’s is truly a ‘women supporting women’ environment and through that, we have gained such a supportive network.” Help Brighton Main Streets by considering the Power of Giving Ten.