What is the best way to find good staff. Ive listed the job on this site and on Craigs list. Should I list anywhere else?

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Is this corner cafe in Seattle, Is the Joe? Barista Exchange is a great source as well. Don't neglect the "Now Hiring" sign in your window. You will get a really good feel for your neighborhood as well. Some questions I ask in interviews that are key to me not wasting their time as well are:

How long will you be in the area?
Is your family local?
Do you have plans to go to school or have a second job? if so, Will you give me proper notice so I can prepare?
Why did you leave your last job?
If you were me, what would you do to grow this business?

Retail and customer service tend to be better experience then bad barista experience, your roaster will be able to help you with training. I also really think it's good to have someone come back for three interviews, showing their dedication to being on time, being prepared and meeting with all aspects of your business. Even if you, your mom or your lead barista each take the time to meet with them, this ensures everyones taking the same look at them with different set of standards.

Call me if you need my help, Happy Thanksgiving too!


We are located in Northern NJ. Ill try the sign in the window. But I didnt want to get untrained folks (but I may not have a choice).

Thanks for your reply Sarah. I am also working with the local Intelligentsia person as well as sending email to New York Coffee Society.

Any other idea's?
Have you contacted TempTamp? They may know people in Northern NJ. Check them out at temptamp.com.
Two kinds of people that have great potential as baristas:
1. People who love coffee (with or without barista experience).
2. People who have experience in fast food.

We have had good luck in offering jobs to some of our regular customers who have proven themselves as espresso drinkers and coffee fanatic.

I've also had good results in stealing employees from fast food joints who I've seen giving good service and working under pressure.
I agree and disagree with equal portions of these bits of advice provided to you thus far.

I agree with*:

A sign*. You'll want someone from around. Preferably someone who likes coffee*. I wouldn't put the sign in the window for this reason. Once an interested person walks in and sees a small sign by the register, you'll get a feel for their people skills by the way they mention it, ask and answer questions, etc.

I also agree that other experiences count for a lot to drive business up. I think a quality focused trend is emerging in the coffee industry and the focus is less on the retail aspect. Therefore, I think the best experience is GOOD barista experience. If someone claims they have some when they notice the sign, put them on the spot to see how they work under pressure and invite them to make their own drink. Watch closely to how they handle the tools.

Spontaneity is the best test of anything.
Bj Davis said:
Have you contacted TempTamp? They may know people in Northern NJ. Check them out at temptamp.com.

They really dont do North Jersey, but thanks for the recommendation.
elaine said:
Have you posted here?

I have with no luck. thanks for asking.
Post it on coffeegeek.com.

I would go ahead and MAKE a sign, and stick it on your window.

If you have a website for the cafe, I would put a permanent application form on there to prevent this kind of thing from happening again. Just keep a steady inventory of new applications. Lots of places do this.

Of course, you can do interviews and decline the hire, so drawing more people is potentially more important than trying to draw the "right" people. The right people may have never worked in coffee even once in their entire lives.
Still looking for some good folks. If you know anyone in the Northern NJ area who is looking send them my way.


Ridgewood Coffee Company

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