Beloved Westside icon says goodbye

By Nick Stern, Staff Reporter | Photo By Nick Stern4

Cheryl Downs, Supervisor at the Westside campus café will be leaving her career at CNM after six years of dedicated food services provided to students. The cafe Downs supervisies has been at the westside campus for more than seven years in the Michel J. Glennon building.
After Downs’ mother beat cancer twice, she is suffering from cancer once again, and Downs has decided it is time to go back home so she can help provide support for her mother, she said.
She is leaving the state on August 15 to be with her family who will all be together for the first time in thirty years, she said.
She is happy to go home but she will miss the Westside campus and all the faculty and students, she said
“I enjoy doing what I do. I enjoy the students. I enjoy the staff. I love my job and I couldn’t ask for a better company,” Downs said.
Downs makes each customer’s food with love and she always makes sure her snackbar is stocked with all the food that everyone likes, she said.
Downs not only serves good food that is healthy, but she is always there for her customers who she considers to be friends and family, she said.
Students have cried on her shoulder, asked her for advice, asked her for hugs, and students know that they will always be treated with much love by her, she said.
If students have a test, Downs reminds them to chew gum five minutes before class and to drink some water, then she lets them know that they are going to be just fine, she said
Downs has also recruited and trained everyone that has worked at the café and made sure to teach her values to each new employee, she said
Chad Willis and McKinley Smith both work with Downs at the café and will miss her dearly, both said.
“Cheryl has built a very interesting relationship with students and employees. She treats customers she does not even know like they’ve known each other forever and they soon become friends,” Smith said.
Willis and Smith both agree that working with Downs has been a great experience, and that the way things were with her in charge, will never be the same once she is gone.
“Everyone will know she is gone either through the food they are tasting, the day they are having, or walking inside and not seeing her,” Willis said.
Willis is positive that wherever she ends up going, the people she meets will be lucky to have her in their lives, he said.
Education major, Sonnita Baird, is one of the many students who feel that Downs’s departure is a sad one as she will be missed greatly by everyone, she said.
When Baird began going to CNM she met Downs and they became close friends quickly, she said.
Baird said that she cannot see the Westside campus the same without her and had nothing but nice things to say about Downs.
“She is incredible. She is loving, giving, and everything beautiful about the Westside campus. No one says, ‘let’s go eat at the café.’ They say, ‘let’s go see what Cheryl’s got today’, she is just that iconic,” Baird said.
Baird believes wholeheartedly that the campus will not be the same without Down’s presence, she said.

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