A nonprofit publication of the Kentucky Center for Public Service Journalism

Mary Ellen Cann not contemplating retirement — she loves the job at The Point Perk she’s had for 20 years


By Andy Furman
The Point/Arc

She’s 66 years old, but retirement is not in her future.

Mary Ellen Cann is quite happy with her position at The Point Perk, one of four Social Enterprises operated by The Point/Arc.

Mary Ellen Cann (Photos by Peggy Berkemeyer)

“I started at The Point Restaurant in 1982 setting up The Best Salad Bar in Town,” she proudly says, “and when it re-opened six-years ago as Point Perk, I returned.”

She’s been associated with The Point/Arc close to 20 years, she says.

The Point Perk, located on the point of West Pike Street and Washington in Covington operates Monday through Friday, 7:30 a.m. until 3 p.m. – plans are in the works to expand the hours, Thursday through Saturday from 5 p.m. until 8:30 p.m.

Mary Ellen works at the shop Mondays and Tuesdays, 1:30-3 p.m.

Her specialty is mocha.

“I like it hot or cold,” she said.

“She’s quite the worker,” said General Manager Jonathan Weisman, the barrister at The Point Perk. “She works the register, has a great rapport with customers and has a great attitude.

“Oh yeah,” he adds, “she’s never late.”

That in itself is quite the understatement since Mary Ellen lives in Campbell County – and doesn’t drive.

“My brother Dale takes me to and from work,” says the 1977 grad of Campbell County High School.

She prefers mochas

Mary Ellen lives alone in the condo her parents willed to her after they passed. “My dad left us in 2007,” she said, “and mom passed last year.”

It was a vocational school in Paintsville after high school, and then it was – and has been – The Point/Arc ever since.

Speaking of work, she works all the machines and makes smoothies. The drink menu is a vast one with cold brew, iced Americano, iced tea, iced latte, and iced chai latte, iced mocha as well as the smoothies and frapes.

And that exactly fulfills the mission of The Point/Arc to provide opportunities to individuals with intellectual and developmental disabilities (I/DD) to reach their highest potential educationally, residentially, socially and vocationally.

Drew Myers, who works at nearby Foxhole Equity is a regular at The Point Perk.

“I usually come in about two-to-three times a week,” he said, “and she (Mary Ellen) does great.”

Even when she’s sipping on her mochas – be it hot or cold.

The Point/Arc


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