By: Kwang Hyun
A place full of fresh coffee smells and a vibrant environment where coffee enthusiasts who care about the quality of the coffee over quantity ― Blackdog Coffee House ― is where I currently work at as a marketing manager and a barista. I have been working here for a year and I am still learning new things every day.
The concept of coffee was something I had to revisit as I started my new career at Blackdog. I had to channel myself to a more professional side of the coffee and it seemed unique to me because it challenged me as if I were learning a new language. Coffee was a simple subject to me in the beginning, but it has been more complex and in-depth learning day-by-day about the coffee at Blackdog.
Jordan Albers, a barista who is entering his seventh year as a head barista at Blackdog, taught me to understand the process, preparation, and general knowledge about coffee and other forms of coffee beverages. I am still learning a lot from him.
Personal preference of work environment is where I can interact with people and where I do not have to develop a Machiavellian personality. It seems like Blackdog employees and customers don’t have a problem with that. With my eccentric and sporadic personality (I am not intimidating. I promise you), people have shown me their general care and input that has made me feel welcomed. I enjoy talking to regulars here at Blackdog like 'Hey, how are you doing?' to 'How did you do on your math test last week?' type of banters. Developing a personal relationship with regulars and interacting with them is something I value about working at Blackdog.
Memorable things happen here. There is a saying "You don't make friends at work". Working at Blackdog definitely broke the barrier of a common workplace mythology. We joke regularly in the kitchen and co-workers and we regularly hang out after work. Tristan who works in the kitchen has a contagious smile that brings everyone joy. All of my co-workers are currently into rock climbing, but I don't go with them because of my financial management and weak back strength.
I am on a verge of entering the second year of my life as a barista. Most people who were baristas before don’t last long in a coffee business (Around six months to a year). They tend to move onto something different as they pursue different things in their life. The main reason why I am content with staying in the coffee business isn’t about materialistic point-of-view. Blackdog offered me a family value, where I slowly learned about the “family-esque” team chemistry and where I could be good friends with my co-workers. It sounds tacky, but if you have been to Blackdog many times, you know what I am saying.
More to come. Just wait.