PITTSBURG — From mochas to caramel macchiatos, Axe Grind Barista Yvonne Still knows what many students want before they even reach the counter.
Yvonne has an associates degree and began working on another degree at Pittsburg State University, but she found happiness at the coffee shop right on campus.
She started working at the Axe Grind in the Axe Library five years ago and previously worked at Jazzman’s in the Overman Student Center. She also worked at Starbucks previous to that.
Her love of coffee, however, began much earlier than five years ago.
As soon as the stores started selling espresso machines she started making her own coffee at home.
“Once I was introduced to espresso and coffee I was hooked,” she said.
Making coffee came natural for her, she said. Everyone has a talent and hers happens to be coffee.
“God gave me a gift,” Yvonne said. “He gave me coffee.”
Everywhere Yvonne travels she tries to stop by coffee shops for a cup of joe and although she has many favorite coffee stops, what makes the top of the list is the one she works at.
“I love it because there is so much diversity and so many different cultures from around the world here,” she said.
As a barista at the Axe Grind she has watched her customers go through their first semester as freshman all the way through their senior year. Thankfully, she said, they have been able to keep in touch after graduation through social media.
“What inspires me to come to work and seeing the people who are regulars,” she said, whose smiles brighten her day.
She said the library staff and faculty are like family, who also frequent the shop.
Aside from making people happy with a hot cup of joe and the smiles of her customers, she said what really keeps her going are her children and grandchildren.
“They will see me work and be happy … I want them to know what it means to enjoy your job,” she said. “My philosophy is go to work and be happy and enjoy it, rather than go to work and make more money and not enjoy our job.”
— Stephanie Potter is a staff writer at the Morning Sun. She can be emailed at firstname.lastname@example.org or follow her on Twitter @PittStephP and Instagram @stephanie_morningsun