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The Antelope

The Antelope

UNK students energize Barista’s Daily Grind environment

ZAHIRA LOPEZ / ANTELOPE STAFF Barista’s employee and UNK student Jayden Stahl pours latté art.

There is one thing college students can never get enough of: coffee. Barista’s Daily Grind has been filling students’ needs with two locations in Kearney with one right across the street from campus and the other on 2nd Ave.

The locations share the same staff, and they switch back and forth functioning differently at each.

“The shop across from campus is where you can sit down, relax, walk inside and have more of a conversation or relationship with the baristas behind the counter,” said Jasmin McGinnis, owner of Barista’s Daily Grind. “It’s a coffee shop; it’s like the heart of the community.”

About 75-80% of the staff are current college students, however college students only make up roughly 20% of their market,” McGinnis said.

While some baristas are newer than others, they all agree on how much fun and enjoyable the environment at Barista’s is.

Emily Hendren, a UNK sophomore, started working at Barista’s in January. She enjoys the upbeat and positive environment and believes that’s what drew her in to want to become a barista.

“I love it here,” Hendren said. “So, I’d encourage anyone to come and check out the environment and atmosphere we have.”

James Royle, a 2021 UNK graduate, has been working at Barista’s for over six years. He also loved the environment Barista’s had before he worked there and said that played a big role in him wanting to work there.

Along with the amazing environment, they take a lot of pride in their baristas’ talents, which are showcased in coffee competitions.

In Royle’s years at Barista’s, he has been in several of the coffee competitions. Going anywhere from San Antonio, Texas, Athens, Greece, surrounding states, Omaha, Lincoln and more.

“We like to do those competitions because it energizes us and helps us stay invested and interested in our craft,” McGinnis said. “We also think what we do is really fun and cool, and anybody can learn how to do it, so we love to get other people passionate about what we do every day.”

Barista’s Daily Grind currently holds four top five titles from the United States Barista Championship. Kearney’s Barista shop was voted second, third, fourth and fifth best coffee in the country.

However, not just anybody can compete in the coffee competitions however. There is a certain criteria that must be met. When going into the competitions workers compete as individuals but come back representing Barista’s Daily Grind as a whole.

“We get the privilege of being able to be in their life during a really pivotal time in their life when they’re learning all kinds of cool things about who they want to be,” McGinnis said. “And we just hope that coffee becomes a tiny part of that.”

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