Living Legend: History-making waitress Dolores Jeanpierre retires

ByJanel Andronico Localish logo
Wednesday, December 22, 2021
History-making Bay Area waitress retires
Since 1978, Dolores Jeanpierre has served as the first Black waitress of Ole's Waffle Shop in Alameda.The first Black waitress of Ole's Waffle Shop in Alameda, Dolores Jeanpierre, retires.

ALAMEDA, Calif. -- Since 1978, Dolores Jeanpierre has served as the history-making waitress of Ole's Waffle Shop. Jeanpierre, who is the first Black waitress of Alameda, California, has now retired after over 40 years of making customers smile.

Today, the living legend continues to inspire all who hear her story.

"I just love people, I treat people the way I want to be treated," said Jeanpierre. "Everybody should be treated equal, and that's the way I feel about life."

Jeanpierre grew up in a little town called New Roads in Louisiana, 95 miles out of New Orleans. She picked cotton and was the first Black student at her school before moving to California.

At 26 years old, Jeanpierre applied to become a waitress at Ole's Waffle Shop, a local restaurant in Alameda. The owner at the time, Christie Adams, hired her on the spot. Jeanpierre became the first Black waitress in the predominantly white city and a hit amongst patrons.

"When she comes in in the morning, she knows your name. She knows what you drink. She's got it right there ready for you," said Ole's Waffle Shop Co-founder Ken Monize. "And you just don't see that kind of customer service in this day and age. She will be dearly missed."

Today, Jeanpierre lives with her granddaughter, Marshi Johnson.

"It's nice to see her influence on everybody in the community and her being like the Bay Area's grandma," said Johnson.

"I'm happy that I could be there and work in this city and make people happy you know, give them what they want, give them great service a smile," said Jeanpierre.