From left: Amanda Yoder, Poppy’s Cafe manager, Sister Carol Jean Vale, Ph.D., CHC president, and Ron Loux, Poppy’s owner, celebrate the “Sister Carol Jean Bean,” a new red velvet latte at Poppy’s to commemorate the longtime CHC president. (Photo by Linda Johnson)

by Brendan Sample

Poppy’s Café, in the Market at the Fareway, unveiled its newest drink, the “Sister Carol Jean Bean,” a red velvet latte named after Chestnut Hill College’s long-standing president, Sister Carol Jean Vale, Ph.D.

A brief celebration was held in front of Poppy’s on Friday, April 26, to commemorate Vale. Members of the CHC community were in attendance, along with Ron Loux and Amanda Yoder, owner and manager, respectively, of Poppy’s. The latte, which is available hot or iced, is infused with vanilla and cream, and made from organic and fair-trade Capri espresso beans that are roasted fresh in New Jersey.

“We thought it would be a fun way to honor Sister Carol, whose presence and outreach within the community over the years has been a constant,” Loux said. “It’s also a nice way to introduce community members to the college and acquaint students with the town, because the relationship between the two is important and beneficial to everybody.”

The new drink also represents another step in a new, if informal, relationship between the college and the Fareway. Vale noted that over the past few months CHC students have been meeting up at the Market every Wednesday night, making it a destination for several members of the campus community. With Poppy’s only open from Thursday to Saturday, the new latte gives students another reason to visit.

As the longest-tenured college president in Philadelphia, Vale has certainly had many unique experiences during her nearly 27 years as head of CHC, but having a drink named after her was still a first. During the ceremony, she expressed her gratitude, not only to Poppy’s for the latte, but also to the Market for helping students better acclimate to the area.

“It’s very kind of Poppy’s to extend that invitation to us to have that opportunity to name something after me,” Vale said. “I think it [the Market] is a good place for our students to be able to come as a destination while they’re on campus. We’ve had a large diversity of students coming down here on Wednesday nights, so it’s been a great place for people to meet and get to know one another. There have been young women and men from different cultures and different countries who gathered here during that time, and I think it’s produced a real camaraderie that’s important to us as a college campus.”

Brendan Sample can be reached at or 215-248-8819.