Boilers of Dining – Carla Ade

Carla Ade is a local from Lafayette, Indiana and has been part of our Purdue community for many years. Currently, she’s the supervisor at Green Leaf’s making everyone amazing salads and being a great “mom” to her student workers!

To start off, what made you decide to work at Green Leaf’s Carla?

I had previously worked at Wiley for six years and Lemongrass for five years, but I decided I wanted a change of pace for my health and now I’ve been at Green Leaf’s for about three years.

Oh no, can you tell us more on what happened and how long have you worked at Lemongrass?

I had back surgery and I am going to have another. It is a lot of work but I love it here.

Thank you so much for your hard work and dedication Carla! We wish a speedy recovery. You said you love working at Green Leaf’s, can you tell us your favorite aspect of working at Purdue?

I love working with students, they’re around my kids age so I can connect with them and act like their mom away from home. It also makes me feel trendy and up to date. Another part I really like is before working in different dining locations, I wasn’t a confident cook, but now I’ve learned a lot of skills and different aspects of food service! 

We’re glad there’s so many parts of working in Purdue Dining you enjoy! Now, we have a couple questions about Green Leaf’s. Can you talk us through what you do?

I prepare the salad bar before we open, check our stock on a daily basis, and keep track of waste to make sure I order what is needed to reduce throwing away unused food. I also help train and keep my students on track along with interacting and serving our customers!

What’s your favorite salad to have personally?

I like the Far East Salad, it’s actually our most popular salad this semester and it has an amazing mandarin dressing.

Would you recommend newcomers to try the Far East salad first?

I’d start off by asking if they want to create their own since they will have more choices and make their salad to their preference. If not, I will suggest either our Far East Salad or Cobb Salad!

Do you ever create your own salad?

Yes I do! I start with spinach then add broccoli, tomatoes, edamame beans, blue cheese crumble and finish it with sunflower seeds. I top it all off with bleu cheese dressing at the end.

If you’re not eating at Green Leaf’s, where else in the Union do you like to visit?

I’d say Lemongrass because I love sushi and their peanut noodles!

Sounds delicious! Alright were about to ask questions for what you do outside of work. What do you to help you get ready in the morning?

I start the day with coffee, then take my golden retriever out on a walk and play with him before I watch some morning news and hop in the shower to get ready!

Oh my gosh what’s the name of your dog?!

His name’s Leo and he turned 4 recently. I’ve had four golden retrievers before him and they were all great.

Earlier you said you had kids, can you tell us more about them?

My oldest son is 30 and he came to Purdue for college. He now works in Lafayette as a teacher. My middle child went to art school in Indianapolis and my youngest daughter also came to Purdue for Human Services. We’re a big Purdue family besides my husband who’s an IU fan.

What do you do to relax over the weekend?

Now that I have a grandkid, I baby sit! I also love going antiquing, it helps me chill me out and you can find some cool things.

Awww that sounds amazing! Now to end our interview, at the beginning you said you liked being a “mom away from home” for your students, how do you do it?

I just try to open conversations if I notice if they’re stressed. I try to calm them down and encourage them that there’s nothing you can’t do. I love seeing them grow, a lot of them haven’t worked before so I want to see them be more confident and be excited for work and school! I treat them how I treat my own kids to let them by teaching them about responsibility and hard work. Their job here at Green Leaf’s is important even if they leave and go somewhere else after graduating. One of the hardest parts of being their mom is keeping them off their phone!

Thank you again from us and everyone you’ve helped! All your hard work builds great students and workers so we hope for the best for you and again, a speedy recovery from back surgery.


Happy March Boilermakers! Spring is quickly approaching but the weather is still quite cold so keep yourself warm and healthy.

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