Starbucks is my second office. I marvel at these Starbucks baristas who are always welcoming with a smile. And if you are somewhat frequent, some may even remember what you drink before you get close to the counter. But did you know many have a talented side?
I know at least three of the baristas at the store I frequent are musicians. Colton Llanos has some of his tracks on SoundCloud.
During the week I head over to Starbucks every morning to write my morning blogs and my 3:00 PM Politics Done Right political show for Pacifica Network's KPFT 90.1 FM, Facebook Live, and Blog Talk Radio. There was some commotion in the store on a recent Wednesday. Another barista told me that the store was having a barista contest.
It was a beautiful day, and my friend and new blogger Patricia stopped by Starbucks with her laptop in tow in a backpack on her bike. I guess I am not the only nerd riding around with a computer everywhere. Anyway, as we sat outside designing her blog, baristas Christian Miller and Mateo Rodriguez walked out of the store with a guitar.
"Are you guys gonna jam and sing?" I asked.
"I'm gonna play the guitar," Christian said. "But I am not singing."
Well, Christian did not sing. But that did not detract from his performance. In Panamanian parlance, he was a one-man combo. He created a contraption that allowed him to play the guitar and drums concurrently. Miller played a mellow instrumental he composed himself.
Mateo followed strumming, picking, and singing. He is darn good both melodically and rhythmically.
Mateo and Christian teamed up for the last song they played. A snippet of their performance follows.
Talented Starbucks Baristas, more than expert coffee skills
The environment at this Starbucks is always upbeat and refreshing. All the baristas are friendly, and they continuously make sure to get one's order right. This store took on about 7 feet of water during Hurricane Harvey just a few days after opening. The same crew with some additions are back.
There is something special about the folks here. The people from this Starbucks are from the same crew where another barista, Christian Davis, took it upon himself to walk customers to their cars during a downpour. I was so impressed with his back & forth that I videoed him. Houston's ABC13 used the video in their story-line about acts of kindness. I would be remiss if I did not highlight one other barista, Jennifer Worley, whose prescient comment gave me a thinking pause.
Also published on Medium.