Roopa made her debut at Kitchen Sage in April of 2021, just as Kitchen Sage was moving to its new location over at 4000 Remembrance Road NW. At that time Roopa and Chef Karen were both volunteering over at the Green Apple Pantry where Roopa’s interest in volunteering over at Kitchen Sage grew more and more as the two conversed. Chef Karen then introduced Roopa to the Senior Employment Training program through AARP, and it wasn’t long afterwards that Roopa was placed at Kitchen Sage as an AARP trainee.
Roopa is no stranger to the food service industry. Her first job at the age of 15 was at Taco Bell, after having arrived only a year earlier with her mother from India. Over the next several years she would finish school, get married and live in Hong Kong for five years. In 1997 she returned to the United States and went back to work with the Yums Brand where she started. Then in 2000 she was invited by Yums to take over as the GM for Taco Bell in Wayland. She excelled as a GM, taking control of one store after another to help get things in line, which eventually moved her to GR.
She left this work a few years ago to care for her mother full-time in her home, but now finds herself with time on her hands once again.
“I want to keep my mind busy. Sitting at home watching TV does me no good. Every day is a learning process no matter how old you get.”
As for Chef Karen, she shared that Roopa’s best attributes are that she is easy-going and adaptable to change, with the mindset of “What can I do to help you get through it.” Chef stated that Roopa is not afraid to take charge when others are in the kitchen and need to be redirected or offered additional guidance. “Every day she comes in raring to go; she brings life to kitchen.”