These Starbucks partners are opening the new White Center, Wash., store, celebrating its grand opening on Aug. 4.
Tim, 33, is a 10-year partner and manager of the White Center store. His Starbucks journey began when he was a student at Ohio State University, where he started as a part-time barista. This is the second Starbucks store he’s opened, following one in Silverthorne, Colo. Tim grew up in Idaho snowboarding, camping and kayaking. His favorite beverage is a Nitro Cold Brew with sweet cream.
John, 31, left the clothing industry behind to come work for Starbucks. He’s a four-month partner who will be White Center’s assistant store manager. Originally from Alabama, John is a two-time testicular cancer survivor who joined Starbucks, in part, so he could have a reliable health plan that gives him security for the future. He likes running, working out, exploring Seattle and sipping Cold Brew.
Jill is a nine-year partner and shift supervisor who has hopes of becoming an assistant store manager. She has lived in White Center for 18 years and has two children, ages 13 and 17, plus one Shih Tzu. Jill enjoys sipping a Tall Blonde with one pump white mocha and soy.
Jess, 23, is a six-year partner, shift supervisor and specially trained Coffee Master. She lives in Burien and launched her Starbucks career at the Burien drive-through. Jess loves camping at Lake Chelan and long drives while blasting country music and, of course, drinking coffee, especially a Venti Iced Coffee, sweetened with cream.
Donny Helnore III
Donny, 27, is a shift supervisor and coffee master. A three-year partner, Donny joined Starbucks in California. Before that, he worked for Disney Cruise Lines overseeing children’s activities. He is a wrestling coach and enjoys helping kids learn responsibility through sports. Donny is earning his college degree through the Starbucks College Achievement Plan (SCAP). Drinking a Cold Brew with cream helps him remain alert while studying.
Alix, 22, is a shift supervisor and three-year partner. She is a Coffee Master and spent a year at the Operations Innovation Lab at Starbucks, where she tested store-related products and equipment. She is passionate about being able to influence Opportunity Youth because her mom was a single mother who made sure to teach Alix how to work hard and be resourceful with money, experiences Alix would like to share. She is excited to be getting married next June. Favorite drink: Americano with pumpkin spice and cream.
Sophia, 19, joined Starbucks at a company hiring event in May in Columbia City. She has been training at the Admiral Way store but is excited to be working close to her home in White Center. She loves taking road trips, camping, and getting lost in the nearest bookstore. She favors iced mochas, sans whip, and is looking forward to becoming a SCAP scholar.
Rosa, 39, is a nine-year partner who is in the process of becoming a barista trainer. She has spent her entire Starbucks career at the Westwood location because she lives in White Center and wants to be close to home to take care of her three children, who are 10, 15 and 21. She is always happy to start up a conversation in Spanish to help Hispanic customers feel welcome. Rosa has developed her own special drink: a Starbucks Grande Soy Latte with one pump toasted coconut and two scoops matcha green tea.
Ali, 25, just celebrated her six-month partner anniversary. She is excited to work with Opportunity Youth because she’s done a lot of volunteering with teens and young adults. From Juneau, Alaska, Ali has been a whale-watching guide for seven years. She is poised to start her graduate program with a focus on disaster relief, which builds on her volunteer work with the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA). When she is not sipping a Peach White Tea Infusion, Ali is dreaming about her next fishing trip.
Nan, 26, is a one-year partner who is moving to the White Center location from the 1st and Walker store in Seattle. A first-generation American, Nan was born in California to parents who moved to the United States from India. Nan spends her free time pursuing what she calls "grandma hobbies” such as knitting and embroidery and reading sci-fi and fantasy novels. She enjoys an Iced Soy Latte.
Natalie, 27, joined Starbucks a year ago at the California and Fauntleroy location. A long-time resident of White Center, Natalie lives with a heart condition. She appreciates Starbucks’ health benefits, particularly the flexibility that allows her to continue seeing the same physician who has cared for her since her diagnosis and operated on her three times. Natalie likes to go out dancing and grow herbs and tomatoes. Her drink of choice is an Iced London Fog Tea Latte.
Rachelle is new to Starbucks and to Seattle. Originally from Detroit, she was searching for a change of pace. In May, she got off the plane with her suitcase and came straight to a Starbucks hiring event. She left with a promise of a green apron, practically in tears because for years she’d wanted to work at Starbucks. Rachelle is a musician and vocalist who is looking forward to starting a band. She lives in White Center and favors strawberry smoothies.
Jesus, 20, joined Starbucks in May at a company hiring event in Columbia City. He has family in Washington as well as in Mexico. Before moving to Washington a few years ago from California, he spent some time in Mexico visiting his parents. He hopes to earn his college degree through SCAP. Jesus loves to play Mariachi guitar, play midfielder on the soccer field and drink Iced Caramel Macchiatos.
Maria, 19, is a one-year partner who is relocating from the 1st and Walker location. She loves painting and drawing, which she practices daily as she moves toward a career as a tattoo artist. A recent high school graduate, she lives in White Center where she takes her pit bull mix on adventures. Her drink of choice is a Peppermint Mocha.
Jenessa, 20, is a two-year partner who has been working in Burien. She lives outside White Center and is excited to be able to work closer to home. A barista trainer, Jenessa is excited to start the SCAP program. She likes to go to the beach and re-read the Harry Potter series (she’s run through the books at least seven times). Jenessa has crafted her own signature drink: a Berry Hibiscus Refresher with lemonade instead of water.
Brad, 17, is a new partner who was hired in May at the Columbia City company hiring event. He has been training at the Alki Beach location. A White Center resident, Brad is about to start his senior year of high school. When Brad is not at Starbucks, you’ll find him skateboarding at Alki Beach or hiking at Rattlesnake Lake. He enjoys Cold Brews.
Loni, 19, recently celebrated her first anniversary with Starbucks, at the Corson and Michigan location. She is excited to have the opportunity to open a new store. She loves to go shopping with friends (she’s a shoe addict) and volunteer in the community, especially with homeless children and teens. Loni drinks Black Iced Tea with classic syrup and breve.
Fardosa, 17, is a six-month partner who will be relocating from the Alki Beach location. She lives near White Center, where she is getting ready to launch her senior year of high school. Fardosa loves drawing animals and nature scenes and spending time with family and friends. Naturally outgoing, her favorite part of work is getting to know customers and earning service hours at work through a nonprofit that helps children with homework. She sips Iced Caramel Macchiatos.
Nikkole, 19, came on board at the company hiring event in May. A resident of White Center, Nikkole is eager to qualify for SCAP, which she considers a lifeline after her anticipated financial aid at a university fell through. She plans to study film, with a focus on screenwriting or producing. In her free time, she likes reading and spending time with her family. Her favorite drink is a Vanilla Sweet Cream Cold Brew.
Tyler, 25, is a one-year partner and former Marine who lives in White Center. As a veteran, he thrives on the camaraderie and teamwork that characterizes Starbucks. Tyler favors sci-fi and fantasy novels and boasts an abundance of impressive Star Wars tattoos. He is studying software engineering at South Seattle Community College. Tyler is relocating from the Westwood Village store, where he discovered Iced Grande Cascara Lattes.
Alejandra, 17, lives just south of White Center and recently graduated high school, where she was on the wrestling team. She will be attending the University of Washington on scholarship in the fall. She loves reading sci-fi and fantasy and sipping a Strawberry Acai Refresher or a Vanilla Latte. (Her name has been changed to protect her family’s privacy.)