September 21, 2023

Interview: Unveiling the Magic of Coffee

I had the pleasure of sitting down with none other than Alicja, the maestro of the espresso machine at Fresh Food Kitchens. A true virtuoso in the world of coffee, Alicja brings a touch of magic to every cup, making her an indispensable part of our culinary journey.

  1. What’s your favorite way to unwind outside of work? Any special hobbies or activities that light you up?

I’m an avid bookworm, and I’ve been devouring books since the age of six. This lifelong habit has given me unique insights into the diverse needs and challenges people face. I easily breeze through three or four books each week. Additionally, I have a quirky yet rewarding hobby of training my cats, which serves as an exercise in patience and understanding.

2. Imagine you’re hosting a dinner party. What’s your go-to dish that always steals the show?

I’m a joyful woman, and in our household, my fiancé takes the lead in the kitchen. My culinary masterpiece? Well, it’s my delightful creation of cheese and onion Lays crisps.

3. If you could travel to any place in the world tomorrow, where would it be and why? What’s the first thing you’d do there?

Anywhere, as long as it’s deep in the woods beside a serene lake. The first thing I’d do is take a refreshing dip in the lake, of course.  Then, it’s all about losing myself in the pages of a good book, whether it’s under the starry night on the porch or cozying up by the fireplace.

4. What’s your secret to crafting coffee and beverages that burst with flavor and quality?

I’m always in the zone when I’m behind the coffee counter. I’m a firm believer that mastering the basics of coffee brewing can yield a fantastic cup. But here’s my secret sauce: I infuse every brew with a dash of my own positive vibes and a whole lot of love. That’s the real key to making each cup truly exceptional.

5. Share a story of a customer interaction that left a lasting impression. How did you go the extra mile?

My approach to customer interaction is simple: it’s all about honesty and authenticity. I believe in being genuinely myself, and that’s how I transform transactions into friendly connections. It’s the recipe that makes our customers feel right at home.

6. Handling special requests and dietary needs can be a puzzle. How do you make sure everyone leaves with a smile?

My secret sauce? I’m a great listener. Positive vibes work wonders. Instead of reciting a robotic list of menu items, I approach each customer with a personal touch. Questions like ‘How are you feeling today?’ or ‘Are you here for a break or powering through work?’ help me understand their needs. This way, I can recommend the perfect meal, and customers feel like they’re chatting with a friend who genuinely cares.

7. It’s like a synchronized dance between the bar and the kitchen. Can you tell us about a time when everything just clicked?

In the realm of customer service, that magical ‘click’ is what we all aspire to achieve. When it finally happens, I feel like I’m flying in the air, a feeling beyond compare.

8. Any cool tricks up your sleeve? Have you explored any exciting training or skills to rock the barista game?

My co-worker and I underwent personalized training sessions with some of the top baristas. The outcome? Well, let’s just say that some folks claim I brew the finest coffee in town.

9. Every superhero has their moment. Can you share a tale of how you turned a tricky situation into a happy customer?

One day, a customer approached me with an unusual request – a sandwich with only chicken and green vegetables. Emphasizing ‘green’ vegetables. Concerned, I couldn’t help but ask about the backstory behind this specific order. What followed was a brief but heartfelt conversation that revealed the customer was navigating a highly stressful phase in life. Sometime later, he returned, and this time, his demeanor was brighter. He stopped by for a coffee and to express his gratitude for our genuine conversation. It’s a reminder that, like a bartender, a barista can be a trusted confidant, with coffee often opening the door to meaningful connections.

10. Lastly… what is YOUR go-to coffee?

When it comes to my caffeine fix, I’m all about espresso to savor the pure essence of flavor. But in my daily routine, I like to mix things up with a double long espresso, infused with a hint of milk. As the seasons change, so does my preference – in the chill of autumn and winter, I prefer my coffee hot, and in spring and summer, I always get an iced coffee.

I really enjoyed my conversation with Alicja, discovering the wonderful stories and delicious drinks at Fresh Food Kitchens! Alicja’s commitment to making great coffee and her creative approach to serving customers truly represent what Fresh Food Kitchens is all about. We can’t wait to see what she brews up next, and we’re excited to be part of her coffee journey.