Wayne State grad named top barista

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From The South End


by Tommy Howe


On rainy, chilly days there is nothing better than the warmth of coffee or latte as it flows down your throat – unless it is served by a barista like Alana Cole who genuinely wants to know how you are doing.


Cole, who graduated from Wayne State with a degree in psychology and is now a Biggby Coffee barista, was given the Todd Miles Award, the Michigan-based coffee-chain’s award for top barista.


Cole, who had developed a fan base at the Biggby Coffee located at 4501 Woodward Ave., said that her “customer service comes natural” simply because she “loves people.”


“Seven customers wrote in describing their unique and personal experiences with Alana – including med student residents, police officers and students,” Biggby spokeswoman Leslie Peterson said in an email.


Cole grew up in Bloomfield Hills and attended Groves High School before graduating from Wayne State with a bachelor’s in psychology. Cole said she volunteered at a summer camp that teaches Detroit children math while subsequently allotting them time to play games and have fun.


She said she dedicated a lot of hard work to learning everything about the coffee business.


It was this sort of dedication that won the attention of a large group of patrons who voted for Cole to be named the best barista.


The award is a local, regional, and national competition between 1,400 baristas in 109 Biggby locations.


Original article: http://thesouthend.wayne.edu/index.php/article/2010/09/wayne_state_grad_named_top_barista