Brewing up a fun environment

Cafe barista Sammy Tello serves students with a smile

Max Beitzel, asst. features editor

When South students desire a snack or a coffee before school or during passing periods, Sammy Tello, the barista for South’s Geek Grind Cafe, is always eager to serve students.

Although Tello only began working at the cafe this school year, his experience as a barista started much earlier. Previously, Tello worked at Starbucks and Intelligentsia, and managed many other coffee shops. Tello’s shift from public coffee shops to a high school cafe was a drastic change in clientele, Tello explained.

“Outside [of South], everybody is serious and [nobody] has time for anything,” Tello said.  “[At South, students are] laughing about everything and anything. They are really silly and I enjoy it.”

The lighthearted environment that comes with working in a high school allowed Tello to incorporate his own personality into his daily routine, he explained. 

“I have my little disco lights [in the cafe, enhancing the] environment,” Tello said. “I try to have a fast-paced music, attitude, and vibe through the whole lunch rush so that [students get their food in a timely manner].”

While Tello is fast on his feet making coffee and preparing food for students, he still finds time to share conversation, he explained. The fun and friendly atmosphere Tello creates through his personality and music is enjoyed by all who visit the cafe, senior Terry Treger explained.

“[Tello] is always very friendly and cracking jokes,” Treger said. “Because of the music he is always playing, [the cafe] always lightens my mood compared to the monotony of other areas of the school.”

Tello’s positive attitude towards his job is not lost on students, freshman Lochlain Casey explained.

“He is a really welcoming guy and [provides] a really welcoming atmosphere,” Casey said. “He never seems like he does not want to be here.”

The joy students receive when purchasing food and interacting with Tello is not one-sided, Tello expressed. 

“I do not like calling off work, I love to come in,” Tello said. “I did not think I would be this excited and happy to be working out of a school. I would not trade it for anything.”