Starbucks Regulars is a book that I created as part as one of my self initiated project for the final year of my degree at University.
I had worked as a Starbucks Barista since I was 17 and every weekend, summer holidays, Easter, Christmas from then until I was 22. I started off at the Merry Hill Kiosk back in my hometown of Dudley, and then transferred to the much, much busier Cheltenham Promenade Store when I moved away to University. It was nice to have that constant as a comfort when moving away from home for the first time, and a good way to make new friends in a new town.
I met a lot of the regulars on the morning shifts on a Saturday. Friday night was not a big night out for students (drink was way more expensive on the weekend!) so I would take the opening shift which started at 6.30am, ready for the store to open at 7.10am and I would finish at 2.30pm, with the rest of Saturday to meet up with my friends who were probably just getting out of bed.
I was intrigued by the same people who came in at the same time, on the same days, order the same drink, weekend after weekend without fail. These creatures of habit.
That brief interaction with them every weekend showed me little snippets of their life. This was before the intrusive 'what's-your-name-so-I-can-write-it-on-your-cup' order system, so a lot of the time we just called people by the name of what drink they ordered, or some kind of distinguishing feature. Mocha Man, Harry Potter Lady or 'The Beautiful Caramel Soya Latte Man'... so dreamy. Anyway, I digress. I loved creating the book, taking objects and pieces found around the store and creating visuals to go with their stories.
It was an enjoyable final year project, and a great piece to reflect on of my time at Starbucks. I reckon I could still survive that morning rush behind the bar no worries...
The Beautiful Caramel Soya Latte Man
Karla's favourite customer! The ever elusive Caramel Soya Latte Man only comes in every now and again, depending on whether he has got much money, or whether he should actually be drinking soya milk, (apparently he is allergic to it, but sometimes he just can't resist!). He comes across as a bit of a ladies man, and also has the look of Jude Law about him, which probably helps, and often pops in on a weekend after a heavy night out the night before. Very charming and a winner with the girls at work!
An immaculately dressed little old lady that comes in every other afternoon after she has done her shopping. She always looks like she is wearing her Sunday Best with a matching skirt and jacket, different pins and broaches and perfect make up, but not out of taste. We always know to take over to her table a short filter coffee with pouring cream on the side, two brown sugars, a stirrer and a napkin (we don't normally do table service!) Sometimes she'll catch you and you won't be able to get away for ages while she chats about her family an her son/ She is lovely really, and we get quite worried when she hasn't been in for a few days, we have got quite attached to her!