The people who work for us are seriously top notch humans, and we're excited to introduce you to them in this new column of barista profiles called "Baristars." Meet Sean R., who holds it down at our 3 Logan Square location (Monday and Thursday are his early-in days, for all you morning people). Sean is a total sweetheart, with a positive attitude and an easy smile. He's got a kind of friendliness that's awfully good natured...so we weren't that surprised to learn that he's a Kansas boy, transplanted here amongst us edgy east coasters.
Sean moved to Philly from Lawrence, Kansas (home of 90's emo giants The Get Up Kids and The Anniversary!) last September. He was looking for a change from small town life, and his mom is originally from one of the 'burbs of Philly, so he has family around here and thought this might be a good place to try out city living. He and his girlfriend Rochelle relocated together and are currently shacking up in Washington Square West with a cute cat named Francis. Sean's first job was at a coffee shop which shall remain unnamed (he wasn't a big fan of working there). Luckily, he met Jonathan, a HubBub employee, who recruited him for the opening crew at 3LS, and he's been with us since mid-January.
Outside of work, Sean is a musician who mostly plays guitar and sings. In Lawrence, he was in a band called Generals: folk and country-inspired experimental indie rock. They have a 3 song EP on Bandcamp, which is really quite excellent - give it a listen when you're in the mood for float-y, pensive songs. He's not in a band at the moment, though lately he's been writing songs in his apartment for a whole band, using a drum machine, keyboard and bass to flesh out the other parts. He says it's a really different process than working with a band, where ideas come and creativity flows from the group-think of jamming together. Now, he says he's just like “I’ll try again tomorrow,” if he gets stuck on a particular day. Sean has been playing a bit with a drummer from New York, so if something concrete forms from this collabo, we'll be sure to break the news.
Back to coffee: Although Sean worked as a barista for a breakfast restaurant out in Lawrence, he says the majority of his coffee education has come from working for us. He's a huge fan of almost all of the Stumptown beans we use; their Ethopian Nano Challa is his long-time favorite. He admits that coffee isn’t his life’s passion but says this is the best job he could have right now. Working at HubBub, he says he really never has a bad day (dang! how many people can say that??). He is proud to have improved a lot on the espresso machine and is still working on perfecting his latte art, which he calls a "precise and detailed process." He gets really excited when he pours a great rosetta, and finds it quite rewarding to give customers beautiful drinks and see how excited they get about it.
During our conversation, this quote from Sean really stood out, and seemed to sum up some of the nuance of the HubBub philosphy: "One of the most rewarding facets of being in the service industry is to feel gratitude for what you’re doing for other people and giving them great service. Maybe it ‘s me blowing up my job...but most of the business in this city probably wouldn't get done without coffee! Making coffee, you’re like a building block of everything in the world."