Coffee, customers, and family: Baylor’s best baristas

by Sophia Alejandro | February 27, 2020

“Jakey? Jackie? What does this say?” Rosie asked.

“Jakey? No, it’s Jackie,” Belinda said with a laugh.

“Jackie!” Rosie called to the waiting customers between chuckles.

Rosie Garcia and Belinda Olivares are two supervisors at the Starbucks in Moody Memorial Library. But they are known all around campus. Rosie and Belinda’s gentle smiles, familiar laughs, and playful banter make waiting in line pleasurable and a trip to Starbucks even more necessary. 

One regular, Ella Schillaci, a Zionsville, Indiana, junior, has been coming to the Starbucks in Moody since her freshman year. 

“Rosie and Belinda have truly been some of my favorite [people] I have met in my three years on campus. They don’t just serve coffee —  they are my friends,” Schillaci said.

Students think of Rosie and Belinda as more than just baristas. We see them as our friends, or even as family, while at Baylor. The feeling is mutual for Rosie and Belinda, but also is something they feel towards each other.

“You learn to love one another here, in the staff. It’s like a family,” Belinda said. 

“Except at the end of the day, you get to go home to your real family,” Rosie jokingly added.

They take their jobs seriously, but not too seriously. As supervisors, they sometimes are required to train the new hires. The most important thing for them to remember when training new hires is that they will need help. 

“In every effective place, you need a good boss. Right now we do have one. [Blair] is awesome, she has a lot of confidence in us. She knows that this place isn’t going to burn down. She can leave us in charge,” Rosie said.

On a college campus, they learn to expect that certain times of the year are more hectic than normal. 

“We have to learn to work with each other to survive. Especially through finals,” Rosie said.

The best way that they have found to keep things moving on these days, are being able to joke and laugh with each other.

“Between me and her, we never have a dull moment. We’re always going, we keep each other going. Even though our lives may belong to the desk over there,” Rosie said.

While they are both supervisors, their jobs coincide to work together, rather than separately. In the mornings, Rosie works as the supervisor. During the day, Belinda works as a lead supervisor alongside her. Together, they work through morning and lunch rushes. All along the way, they interact with (or maybe: entertain) students, faculty, staff, and guests.

“I have been privileged enough that they shared their personal lives with me as well, and it’s very easy to see they love others very well. It’s an honor getting to be friends with these women,” Schillaci said.

What makes the experience of Moody’s Starbucks unique to other coffee shops is the commitment Rosie and Belinda have to getting to know the students, faculty, and staff of Baylor. Instead of dreading going to class or meetings, coffee-goers also get a jolt of energy from seeing the pair behind the counter cutting-up and connecting with customers.

“Once we get to know them face-to-face, connecting with them, we remember their names,” Belinda said.

According to Belinda, the trick to learning names is to work the cash register. The best way to learn is to be with them and see their faces. Through talking to customers, they are able to make the day go by faster.

“We enjoy what we do, basically,” Rosie said.

Rosie and Belinda truly consider each other family. Perhaps this is because of how long they have known each other. Belinda was 15 years old when she met Rosie. They worked together at Wendy’s for a short period until they went their separate ways. Luckily, though, they crossed paths again.

“Her son was three years old and she came to enroll him. One of my classrooms was one of her son’s classes … I was the social worker for his class,” Rosie said.

Rosie remained with Belinda’s son until the end of the year. Then, once again, they went their separate ways until coming to work at Baylor.

Belinda started working at Baylor in 2008 at the Starbucks that used to reside in Dutton Parking Garage. Then, Rosie came in 2009 and they once again worked together. 

“I don’t know if it is destiny or what it is. I never thought I’d be here working with her now, in the present,” Rosie said.

“We’re back again,” Belinda laughed while reminiscing. 

Whether it’s talking to their customers, talking to each other, or singing along to “Break my Stride,” it is clear they love coming to work. 

“I love the flexibility, the students, we bond with students every year. They come, they go. They still come to see us on homecoming games, the Baylor games. They still come and they stand right there and they want to see Rosie and Belinda,” Belinda said.

“We’ll get cards that’ll say, ‘Aunt Rosie and Aunt Belinda,’” Rosie explained.

The best part about their job seems to be the love they can give and receive from all their customers-turned-family. 

“I love establishing a rapport with the students, the professors, the housekeeping. I just love being sociable, I guess,” Rosie said. 

Neither Rosie nor Belinda are planning to leave their job in the near future.  

“I would stay longer, I have no intentions to leave anytime soon. I would say at a minimum about 10 years,” Belinda said. 

2 thoughts on “Coffee, customers, and family: Baylor’s best baristas

  1. I know Rosie from way back when she worked in Head Start she is truly an awesome person. I dropped out of school in the 8th grade and she motivated me to go get my GED. She always encouraged me and offered me support and help if I needed. I was blessed and past all courses in my first try. But it was because of her motivation that I had the courage to obtain it. I will always be grateful to her for that!

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