The people who work for us are seriously top notch humans, and we’re excited to introduce you to them in this column of barista profiles called “Baristars.”
Ever look up at our coffee of the day chalkboard at 3 Logan Square and wonder who spends the time painstakingly making sure that the text is tidy and consistent, the lines are even, and all the words are spelled properly? Well you can thank our barista Lori A., who, in addition to serving up coffee, loves putting her handwriting skills to good use for our signage. Lori is a native of Baltimore, Maryland who moved to Philly in October 2012, and has been working with us since 3LS opened. HubBub is her first coffee shop job, and she's learned a lot working here. When it comes to coffee, she's a big espresso drinker, but has been dabbling in Chemex pour overs lately, which she says are "super delicious."
Aside from being an awesome barista, Lori has aspirations to earn a certificate in graphic design - she's been eyeing up a program at Moore College of Art. She is the kind of person who makes her own planners (like, sketching out each month, day, etc.), and adds notes, doodles and sketches in the margins that make it more like a journal. She also studied visual and graphic arts at her arts magnet middle school in Baltimore, and even stayed up late designing and coding her own website when she was 12! She says it's been awhile since she dabbled in the graphic arts but is psyched to get back into it.
Lori is also really into riding bikes. She cycles in to work from her home in Fishtown each day (except when the weather is extra crappy), on her 2013 Surly Cross Check. For those not in the know, Surly is a superb bike designer and manufacturer out of Bloomington, Minnesota, well known and loved among the bike messenger/urban bike warrior sets. They are some good looking rides, that's for sure.
As if shredding into work every day wasn't enough, Lori also plays Bike Polo! Yup, it's a lot like regular polo, but with bikes instead of horses. She plays more casual games with a co-ed pick up group that meets at Cione Rec Center in North Philly and Rizzo Rink in South Philly, and has also gone to a couple tournaments where she says the play can get aggressive and people are a bit more "reckless." The Philly Bike Polo group even hosted a tournament here in early December of last year, which she says was great because they paired teams with similar skill levels, so the evenly matched games were closer and more exciting.
Like a lot of our staffers, Lori's got a number of tattoos on her body. She says it's hard to pick a favorite, and she shows off two in particular: a tugboat tattoo in tribute to her grandmother, who would frequently take her to Fells Point, Baltimore's historic waterfront neighborhood and a maple leaf tattoo that celebrates Canada. The maple leaf tattoo has a good story, too: while on a road trip last year, Lori and her boyfriend made a friendly bet that if a Facebook post she put up got more than 30 likes, then he would buy her a Canada-themed tattoo. She won the bet, and cashed in on her prize later that year while in New Orleans for a wedding (somewhat ironically, she says, since NoLa is about as far away from our northern neighbors as you can get in the US!). She's not from Canada, or anything, she's just a big fan.
When it comes to music, Lori favors bands from the 90's: alternative like the Cranberries and The Counting Crows, emo like Mineral, and R&B like Usher...lots of Usher. She used to go to tons of shows when she was younger in Baltimore, and particularly loved the Charm City Art Space, a DIY venue which she said was like going to a house show without the potential weirdness of being in someone's house. She also liked the vibe at Ottobar, and is still looking for a venue in Philly that's as fun to go to shows to as either of these places.
Memphis Taproom, Cedar Point, Loco Pez and The Khyber are some of her favorite places to grab food in Philly. Her boyfriend is vegan, so at home she primarily cooks and bakes vegan. In fact, if you were lucky enough to snag one of the cold brew cupcakes at our 1 Year Birthday celebration at 3LS last week, you've had a sample of Lori's vegan treats! She also described a carrot cake she made for her boyfriend's last birthday that gave us a serious craving - Lori, perhaps you should start a little vegan baking business? We'd definitely be loyal customers!
Thanks again to Lori for chatting it up with us and sharing so much about herself. Next time you're in 3LS, introduce yourself to her! You guys can totally bond over your favorite 90's jams.