June 8, 2015 Opportunity

Starbucks Baristas Cheer On Their Work BFFs

He’s the person who makes you laugh, even though you feel like crying.

She’s the one who’s been there from the beginning and is more like a savvy sister than a co-worker.

Two people who are so close they can have an entire conversation with no words, just a smirk and a raised eyebrow.

They're best friends. 

Many people have a best friend at work who makes it a little easier to start the day early, end it late and get through stressful moments in between. Employees with best friends at work tend to be “more focused, more passionate, and more loyal” to their company, according to university researchers. They often have fewer sick days, fewer accidents on the job and change employers less frequently. They have more satisfied customers too.

On National Best Friends Day (June 8) Starbucks partners shared stories of why they appreciate their work best friends forever. Follow partner posts on Instagram and Facebook through the hashtag #StarbucksBFF. 

Jocelyn and Stephanie

Jocelyn’s Starbucks journey started in 2005 in Eureka, California. She became the first Coffee Master in her store and was often called upon to train new baristas who transferred to the store from another Starbucks location.

“I got to work early at 4:15 knowing I was going to be opening the store with a barista who’ was new to our store. This always made me a little anxious,” she said.

A few minutes after Jocelyn arrived, ‘the transfer’ showed up.

“She was wearing a skirt and had a huge pink flower in her hair. I was also wearing a skirt, and had a similar hair adornment,” Jocelyn said, describing Stephanie. “I instantly felt at ease with her, like I’d known her my whole life. We never said ‘hello’ or anything, we just burst into a fit of giggles and that sums up our relationship over the years. I would just give her a look, and she would know exactly what I was thinking.”

Stephanie, now the shift supervisor at the Eureka Starbucks® store, recalled the day her work best friend met “the man of her dreams.”

“We always thanked our customers for coming in and invited them to come in again,” said Stephanie. “I was making beverages on the bar when I looked up and saw an easy-on-the-eye guy that Jocelyn was ringing up at the register. She was being her fabulous, bossy self when she insisted he return to our store again the next day. He showed up the next day and before you knew it they were planning their wedding.”

In 2013, Jocelyn relocated to a store in Washington state when her husband’s Coast Guard career took them to the Seattle area. Stephanie and Jocelyn remain best friends even though they’re separated by about 475 miles.

“Had we not worked for Starbucks, we probably wouldn’t have met. We come from very different backgrounds, but none of that mattered to us,” Jocelyn said.

Amber and Joseph

Joseph and Amber met through mutual friends in 2013 and realized it’s a small world. They both work for Teavana – the premium tea company which joined the Starbucks family of brands in 2012. They were working in two neighboring stores in Grand Rapids, Michigan.

Joseph has been a partner with Teavana since March of 2013, and was promoted to general manager in October of that same year. Amber was also a Teavana partner from October 2010 until this past March, when she began with Starbucks as a shift supervisor. “While I love tea, I also wanted to learn more about coffee,” Amber said.

“Amber was always there for me,” Joseph added. “Her support was integral to my success as a manager. My first few coaching moments with my partners were a little rocky, and Amber was able to ‘coach my coaching.’”

Joseph recalled a tough day early in his management career when he called Amber for a pep talk. Her advice made him laugh, but he followed it anyway: "Go in your back room, and I want you to jump up and down! Are you doing it? Ok, good. Now keep going! It'll get your blood flowing and adrenaline going, and you'll have a little more energy."

“She made me jump by myself in our back room for about three minutes,” he said. “I use this tactic with my partners to this day. It's a great way to shake off the bad, and start giggling from feeling so ridiculous.”

They quickly bonded through their passion for tea, and shared customer service tips with each other.

“Now that I am with Starbucks, we love being able to educate and change our customers lives through the world coffee and tea, whether that's one cup of perfect coffee or starting a new tea lifestyle,” she said. “In the future, we would also love to do a collaboration of a coffee and tea tasting together.”

And, these best friends were married last year on December 27th, 2014.

Jazyln and Chelsea

Almost three years ago, Jazlyn started her Starbucks journey at a store in Northern California when she was in high school. She transferred to a store in Hawaii where she pursued her college degree. Her experiences with Starbucks brought a best friend into her who also helped Jazlyn meet the man who is now her fiancé.

“My first time working with Chelsea held nothing short of laughter and smiles, and a zest for doing what we do – inspire others,” said Jazlyn. “Chelsea and I clicked because of how we live out the Starbucks mission in our daily lives. We get jazzed, pun intended, to serve hundreds of people coffee with a smile and Chelsea is an exuberant barista who brings warmth to all those who surround her.”

Chelsea’s three year anniversary with Starbucks is this week. She also transferred from the West Coast to a Starbucks location near the University of Hawaii, where she completed a bachelor's degree in Political Science in last month. 

“We became really close friends because we both have the shared experience of being new to the island and trying to balance work, school and life. We both love to create a fun work environment for our partners and customers, so we bonded immediately,” said Chelsea.

Working with someone you are genuinely friends with makes a tough day instantly better, the BFFs said, and helps create “inspired moments” for customers. 

How does your Starbucks work BFF brighten your day? Has a Starbucks customer become your BFF? Share your stories here

For more information on this story, contact the Starbucks Newsroom