Get to know Capilano University’s favourite baristas
Not every student may be familiar with their names, but Sheila Miguel and Mary Ann Guillermo could very well be the real MVPs of Capilano University.
Over six months after the ribbon-clipping, opening ceremony of the conveniently-placed Good Earth Coffeehouse, the two baristas have become integral in truly turning the library into a student’s second home.
With the spring semester nearing its end, the Capilano Courier caught up with Miguel and Guillermo to reflect on their experiences at Good Earth, the diversity on campus and the overall warmth they’ve received from the CapU community.
Having been working at Good Earth since its launch, Miguel has had the chance to truly feel out the location and get to know the ropes. “Training was done all on the job, and I just learned as I went,” she said. While the barista took on a lead role, independently advancing her techniques along the way, her co-worker Guillermo took on a sister role just a month ago, observing other staff members’ creations. “I also watched a lot of YouTube videos to improve my skills,” said Guillermo with a chuckle.
Due to its relaxed style, Good Earth has been sitting well with both students and its baristas. The company’s philosophy is to change the ever-busy atmosphere of cafés. With this, the idea of people having to go to the typically rushed and hectic coffeehouse, trying to grab their morning’s saving grace, is transformed into a serene environment.
Guillermo, who also currently works at CapU’s Tim Horton’s location in the Birch building, finds peace of mind with Good Earth’s tranquil environment. “At Tim Horton’s there’s a lot of pressure because there’s always a long line,” she said. “Here at Good Earth, it’s more relaxing. It’s fun doing art with the different drinks and learning different coffee tricks.”
Working for a high-standard coffeehouse also comes with its stresses. Both baristas strive for perfection, but find day-to-day challenges surrounding the craft itself. “Here its like you have a great challenge to do the perfect latte,” said Miguel. “Normally, coffee shops just brew the coffee for customers and serve it… the double-double sort of order. Here its different as it’s a lot more specific.”
Naturally, the two find themselves receiving a complaint or two – with some, being for the slightest of things. “Some customers come back and say the hot water isn’t hot enough, but other than that, everyone is really accepting of everyone else,” said Miguel. Guillermo agreed with her fellow co-worker’s statement as she said, “So far I haven’t encountered any problems with customers yet. I know most of them already from Tim Horton’s so it’s all friendly here.”
Aside from the occasional challenging order, overall the two baristas find work at Good Earth to be enjoyable. “A few days ago, a customer introduced herself and was being friendly with us here and learned our names too. It was a really nice gesture,” said Guillermo. The two note that they find happiness and satisfaction in interacting with customers, especially those who provide them with memorable moments.
The conscious effort in creating a welcoming community is also apparent in students, particularly the full-time, caffeine-buzzed individuals who have taken a liking to the new establishment. “Everyone is very accepting of everyone’s cultures here – there’s like no cultural barriers, and everyone at Capilano is very accepting. Managers are nice, students are nice, staff is great, everyone is just very friendly,” said Guillermo.
Though Miguel and Guillermo can sometimes face a seemingly non-stop stream of orders, they still find joy in what they get to craft everyday. “I love my job. I get to craft great coffee and make art, putting smiles on student’s faces,” said Guillermo.
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