Students on the run in Smith Union will recognize Brandy Staples as the woman who provides their lunchtime nourishment to go.

Staples (“like the office supply store,” she said) works at the counter of Fast Track at Jack Magee’s Pub, a weekday lunchtime operation that serves bagged meals to students in a hurry.
While Staples enjoys the job overall, it is not always easy. She serves between 200 and 250 patrons on any given day during her 3.5 hour shift.

“You do not stop. Once you get here, you continue to go,” Staples said.

In addition to working at Bowdoin, Staples owns her own business. She hand makes and sells dowsing pendulums, which are crystals or stones at the end of chains that are used for divination and spiritual activities. Staples sells most of her products via online retailers such as Etsy and Ebay.

“I make everything from scratch. If it is not handmade by me, I make sure it is handmade,” said Staples.

Staples has a close connection to Maine. She grew up in nearby Phippsburg and returned there after living in Massachusetts for a time.

“Maine is a nice place to live and raise a family. People up here are more genuine [than in Massachusetts],” she said.

Staples earned an associate’s degree in travel and hospitality. She also has a certificate in medical billing and coding. As for her past work, Staples has consistently worked in the retail and food-service sector.

Almost three years ago, Staples ended up at Bowdoin by what she describes as “the lines of fate.” During her time here, Staples has interacted with many members of the Bowdoin community and especially enjoys getting to know Bowdoin students.

“I can’t believe how polite you guys are,” she said. “[Bowdoin students] are so funny: I’ll accidentally grab the wrong thing and you guys will apologize to me. It’s just funny because you are apologizing to me when I made the mistake.”

Staples is impressed by Bowdoin students’ tendency toward environmental awareness, noting how students have pushed for reusable lunch bags.

“There’s a lot of things here that I’ve really picked up from you guys,” Staples said. “People here are very intellectual, they’re always trying to learn new things and find better ways to do things so I’m glad we get to play off each other.”

In her free time, Staples is involved with activities at her church and describes herself as an “avid reader.”

“My goal in life is to finish all the books on my bookshelf before I die,” she said.