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Barry_S
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Joined: 24 Oct 2013
Posts: 16
Location: Newtown
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Wed Apr 2, 2014, 6:26pm
Subject: Frustrated in Philadelphia...
 

Hello All!  Longtime lurker here( in both CG and HB), first time poster. A little about me.  I am a middle-aged male, on the short and chunky side (mostly belly, from not pushing away from the table enough) resident of the far Northern 'burbs of Philadelphia.  Information Technology has been my life's blood for more than 25 years, and circumstances have made that career track, no longer viable.  A few of my passions include food, music, and coffee.

I have loved coffee since I was eight or so, but have become passionate about all-things specialty coffee in the past three years or so.  Currently seeking a second career in this hard-to-crack industry, and becoming increasingly more frustrated, as door after door closes in my face.  Ultimately, my dream is to get a job helping to source and roast coffee, however, reality has me seeking out barista(in training) positions at area cafes.  I adamantly refuse to work for the 'Green Mermaid', for reasons too numerous to list here.  The handful of potential companies within reasonable commuting distance have either ignored my attempts to get traction, told me they aren't hiring (when they post ads on Craig's List regularly) or, in the one case where I had an interview with the owner, and his training manager, was told that it would be too expensive for them to train me, given my lack of cafe experience.  

Can anyone offer me any advice regarding how to open some doors for me?
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sweaner
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sweaner
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Posted Tue Apr 8, 2014, 8:46am
Subject: Re: Frustrated in Philadelphia...
 

Barry, I see that you are in Newtown. Have you contacted Rojo's Roastery in Lambertville?

http://rojosroastery.com/

 
-Scott
“Coffee - the favorite drink of the civilized world.”
Thomas Jefferson
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Robs291
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Posted Tue Apr 8, 2014, 9:17am
Subject: Re: Frustrated in Philadelphia...
 

sweaner Said:

Barry, I see that you are in Newtown. Have you contacted Rojo's Roastery in Lambertville?

http://rojosroastery.com/

Posted April 8, 2014 link

Rojo's also opened a new shop in Princeton NJ where they are looking for people. David (the owner) is usually in the Lambertville location. Worth a try.
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Barry_S
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Joined: 24 Oct 2013
Posts: 16
Location: Newtown
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Apr 8, 2014, 2:15pm
Subject: Re: Frustrated in Philadelphia...
 

Thanks for the replies.  Yes, gentlemen, I do know (and love) Rojo's, Lambertville.  In addition to Princeton, they now have a third location at Brick Farm Market.

This option has been thoroughly explored, with no joy (sad to say).
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sweaner
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sweaner
Joined: 16 Nov 2007
Posts: 1,125
Location: Yardley, PA
Expertise: I live coffee

Espresso: Vetrano, Arrarex Caravel, La...
Grinder: Mazzer SJ, OE Pharos
Drip: Bunn Trifecta MB
Roaster: Poppery II
Posted Tue Apr 8, 2014, 4:26pm
Subject: Re: Frustrated in Philadelphia...
 

I am sorry to hear that.

 
-Scott
“Coffee - the favorite drink of the civilized world.”
Thomas Jefferson
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CoffeeRoastersClub
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Posted Tue Apr 8, 2014, 5:12pm
Subject: Re: Frustrated in Philadelphia...
 

Barry_S Said:

Hello All!  Longtime lurker here( in both CG and HB), first time poster. A little about me.  I am a middle-aged male, on the short and chunky side (mostly belly, from not pushing away from the table enough) resident of the far Northern 'burbs of Philadelphia.  Information Technology has been my life's blood for more than 25 years, and circumstances have made that career track, no longer viable.  A few of my passions include food, music, and coffee.

I have loved coffee since I was eight or so, but have become passionate about all-things specialty coffee in the past three years or so.  Currently seeking a second career in this hard-to-crack industry, and becoming increasingly more frustrated, as door after door closes in my face.  Ultimately, my dream is to get a job helping to source and roast coffee, however, reality has me seeking out barista(in training) positions at area cafes.  I adamantly refuse to work for the 'Green Mermaid', for reasons too numerous to list here.  The handful of potential companies within reasonable commuting distance have either ignored my attempts to get traction, told me they aren't hiring (when they post ads on Craig's List regularly) or, in the one case where I had an interview with the owner, and his training manager, was told that it would be too expensive for them to train me, given my lack of cafe experience.  

Can anyone offer me any advice regarding how to open some doors for me?

Posted April 2, 2014 link

Have you explored the possibility of opening your own little roastery?  Open to the public, mailorder?  Maybe has the highest possibility for growth.  You have a tough nut to crack taking Starbucks out of the equation.  Most other roasteries / cafes have a small/tight younger crowd employment scene and the employees are very loyal and stay on for a while.

Len

 
"Coffee leads men to trifle away their time, scald their chops, and spend their money, all for a little base, black, thick, nasty, bitter, stinking nauseous puddle water." ~The Women's Petition Against Coffee, 1674

Bitcoin Merchant www.CoffeeRoastersClub.com     www.javaPRO-CRC.com
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TheSunInsideYou
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TheSunInsideYou
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Posted Tue Apr 8, 2014, 6:16pm
Subject: Re: Frustrated in Philadelphia...
 

Check out Small World in Princeton. They're a pretty good shop.

-Dave-
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Barry_S
Senior Member


Joined: 24 Oct 2013
Posts: 16
Location: Newtown
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Tue Apr 8, 2014, 7:25pm
Subject: Re: Frustrated in Philadelphia...
 

Have tried to get into Small World multiple times; no joy.  They are a nice shop, though.
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ewindisch
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Posted Fri Apr 25, 2014, 8:09pm
Subject: Re: Frustrated in Philadelphia...
 

Have you considered working somewhere where espresso is served but might not be the primary focus of the shop? Zebra Striped Whale serves Small World's espresso, for instance.

Coffee in Bucks County is frustrating all around. I live down the road in Langhorne and the best options to buy fresh, locally roasted coffee seem to be no less than a 30-minute drive in any direction (and, of course, the return trip!).
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thepilgrimsdream
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Joined: 16 Dec 2013
Posts: 37
Location: Philly
Expertise: I love coffee

Posted Thu Jul 3, 2014, 9:41pm
Subject: Re: Frustrated in Philadelphia...
 

I live in Penndel and work as a Barista at a Roaster in Philly. Counter Culture has a training center right above one of Aaron Ultimos shops. They offer a beginner espresso class which is a lot of fun, and covers the basics. I highly recommend it. Ask Tom at the Zebra striped whale if he needs extra help, there is Zen Den and Nono's in Doylestown, (not the greatest espresso bars), but learn to pull good shots, learn latte art, and that should open doors.

I try to take a ride around Philly a few times a year to check the coffee scene, I stop by and talk to other baristas and roasters and pick their brains. These include One Shot, Rival Bros, Elixr, ReAnimator, Bodhi, Shot Tower etc.

You learn a lot, you network, you enjoy.

Barista world in Philly is also a bit mixed in with kinda a health food hipster scene. I eat healthy, shop a trader joes and whole foods/local farms, but it isn't uncommon for some to be slight snobs about it. Just be confident, don't get discouraged

Good luck man, keep us updated.
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