Best Of 2020

Best Reason to Bitch About Barista Rights: Bitchy Baristas

Last summer, Holly Birrer began brainstorming the idea for Bitchy Baristas — a support network that works to create a safer community for local baristas and champions better workplace rights — after noticing troubling things happening in the local specialty coffee scene. When a woman she worked with at another place came to her to discuss problems she was having as a barista, Birrer felt that she could no longer keep quiet. Christina Snyder came on as co-founder and would later be joined by Kae Bonaguro. In part, Birrer drew inspiration from Coffee at Large, a Seattle-based nonprofit that formed after five baristas from Slate Coffee Roasters taped their resignation letters to their storefront’s door, alleging late paychecks and the management’s failure to address what they called a “toxic work environment.” The org, much like Bitchy Baristas, aims to “shed light upon workplace injustice in the specialty coffee world.” As of September 2019, Bitchy Baristas became the first chapter of Coffee at Large. In the time since the Cincinnati group formed, they have hosted meet-ups, held latte art throwdowns and advocated for wage transparency, inclusive and healthy workplace environments and more. Let’s raise a mug for more change to come. Bitchy Baristas, facebook.com/btchybaristas.