Ryan Stakes started as a barista at Blueprint Coffee Delmar shortly after moving to St. Louis in early 2017. He quickly became a shift leader and was eventually named General Manager of our Watson coffee bar in the summer of 2019.
WHAT PROMTED YOUR INTEREST IN COFFEE?
To be honest, my real interest in coffee began when I started working at Blueprint. I enjoyed coffee before that, and I'm sure there is some anecdote I could share that would be a more interesting build up to my interest in coffee, but the truth is I didn't know anything about coffee at the time. Obviously, I knew that it was a beverage and I enjoyed drinking it.
After getting hired it was definitely the owners and my coworkers that truly prompted my interest in coffee. I have never enjoyed a job more, and I am lucky that I get to drink coffee and serve coffee with people I like, everyday-all day. It's sick.
HOW WOULD YOU DESCRIBE THE DELMAR STAFF?
"We all dress so different." A customer recently told me that the staff as a whole is the most "like, stylistically confused" group of people they've seen. I wasn't sure what they meant at first, but they clarified that they literally meant we all dress so different. So, if I had to sum up the Delmar staff in one statement it would be: we all dress so different.
We also love to laugh, that's for sure. They should make a viral video about us!
HOW DO YOU SEE COFFEE IMPACTING EVERYDAY LIFE IN ST. LOUIS?
I haven't been in St. Louis for that long, and I wish I could come up with a more impactful response to this. However, I will say it is nice to see the true, addiction-based joy on people's faces when I hand them a piping hot cup of coffee.
WHERE ARE YOUR FAVORITE PLACES TO GO IN THE CITY?
I love Carrie’s house — my dog is there and so is she! El Tapatio (if you know, you know), La Vallesana, Fortune Teller, Blueprint Coffee Watson, Mud House forever, Sinkhole, Blueprint Coffee Delmar, Kiah & Miles’ house, Byrd & Barrel, Canes, Ryders is tight and so is he, and new shout out to Morning Glory on Cherokee. Ari is doing it big over there. Go check it out if you haven't.
WHAT'S THE BEST EXPERIENCE YOU'VE EVER HAD IN A CAFÉ?
Whenever I go to this place "Blueprint Coffee" (they have 2 locations) the baristas know my name and are always so friendly! We talk and laugh and they make me feel like I'm a prince. As if all of THAT wasn't good enough, they always give me my coffee for free!! It’s incredible.
Crema and Steadfast in Nashville have never disappointed me, not only with the quality of coffee, but also my customer experience. I've definitely always loved going to either of those cafes. There was a cafe I went to in San Francisco like 6 years ago and it was incredible. Too bad I don't remember what it was called. Wish I could use emojis on my computer!