‘Grande, 14 pump white mocha with four Splendas, please’

Waking up in the morning, students and others alike need something to start their day, and more and more people are choosing to start it with coffee.

One of the most popular coffee shops in the nation, Starbucks Coffee Company, has a location on the Southeastern campus that serves not only the students, but the public as well.  The manager, Christina Howard, has recently been certified as a Brew Master.  Howard originally entered the program when she was working at a Mississippi location, but was unable to complete the training before the program was canceled.

“They had the coffee master program there and then they canceled it for about three or four years,” said Howard.  “But then they brought it back and I was the first one to get certified in our district.”

Going through the program, Howard learned many things about Starbucks and its history and she came to love the company she works for. The most surprising thing she learned was how the company sends professionals to the regions Starbucks buys their coffee from, showing the farmers how to take care of their land.

“The program tells you about the background of Starbucks and where it came from and how we ethically source our coffee which is a big thing,” said Howard.  “It’s the part I enjoyed the most.  I didn’t realize how much Starbucks puts into their farmers and workers, more so than any other corporation.”

As for working at different locations, Howard feels that this store has been one of the most rewarding experiences.

“This has been the best store I have ever worked at,” said Howard.  “The students are awesome, which I was a little surprised by, but they are amazing.  I was not expecting everybody to be so nice. I’ve made a lot of new friends here,” said Howard. “There is more of a relationship that you can build on campus than you can at other stores.”

Howard has a staff of nine that she would not do without.  From experienced baristas to new hires, Howard thanks her staff for making her experience here at Southeastern one to remember.

“Everybody this semester has been amazing,” said Howard.  “Ms. Jeanette, we call her Mama, had worked for Aramark before we opened.  She started to train to work over here and I am so glad she did.  Brittany is one of our newer hires who came from Java City and she wanted another job again, and I’m glad she did, too. I love everyone I work with.”