‘Doctors Told Me I would Never Work – Now I am Starbucks France’s Second Service Champion’

Amelie, 29 years old, has been working at the Starbucks Opera store in Paris as a barista for the past four years. Despite having dyspraxia and being told by doctors that she would never be able to work, she is determined not to let that get in the way of progressing in the workplace and has been named Starbucks France Second Service Champion.

“I love talking to the customers. To start with it was hard but now I am more open and the Starbucks team gave me confidence. People ask me how I do it but I tell them it’s simple, just smile and be dynamic.”

The connection Amelie has with regular the customers mean they comment when she is not working. ‘It’s different when you’re not here’ they tell her. This is what led to her recently being named Barista of the Quarter. “It was amazing, it means a lot to me” Amelie adds.

For the past 10 years, Starbucks France has been working with AVEC, a charity organisation that matches young adults with learning difficulties with workplace opportunities. Amelie was introduced to Starbucks through the partnership.

Describing what working at Starbucks means to her, Amelie concludes: “I am happy here, they accept me as I am. I am no different to the others.”