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What its like to be a FPC Barista Opener

As a Front Porch Barista/Openery your shift starts the evening before with the mental preparation  necessary of knowing you have to open the next morning. You may forgo refilling your wine glass at dinner or make a conscious effort not to start the newest Netflix series in case you get sucked into a 5 episode mini binge watch. When you set the alarm for 4 am you always double check to make sure you don’t make the fatal error of confusing am and pm. Front Porch has a track record of  opening consistently on time 364 days a year for 17 years so  there’s a lot of pressure not to blow an opening!

Is that the alarm going off or the timer for the oven? All of us baristas at the Front Porch have shared a few good laughs over dreams, rather nightmares we have about things going away at the shop. Bolts filling the espresso grinder has been a recurring theme of mine. A fellow workmate shared with me an elaborate dream about customers gathering outside the front door while she was unable to get the door unlocked from inside. The crowd swelled to hundreds and the problem was finally solved by a desperate guy driving his pickup through the front door. When it comes to coffee sometimes desperate measures need to be taken.

The drive in to work during the early pre-dawn hours when often you are often the only one on the road is its own reward. There is something magical about watching the world come to life. When the sunrise looks particularly enthralling I’ll take a quick side trip to do an ocean check. There is no more satisfying way to start you day than witnessing daybreak over the ocean. It infuses you with energy and inspiration to start your day like nothing else.  Well, except maybe coffee.

By the time you get to the shop you are so fueled by the anticipation of that first cup of coffee or espresso drink that it motivates you to go through your standard opening checklist with speed and dexterity. We at the Front Porch Cafe consider ourselves good multi-taskers. This is due to our skills having being well honed during our openings as we perform our 20+ point checklist that culminates with hissing of the steaming wand letting you know that you are seconds away form pure coffee love. You then turn on the open sign and welcome your fellow early risers to another beautiful day on the Outer Banks.

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