“It’s a relaxing place, it’s music, it’s a place you can do homework or create friendships,” said Thani Magnuson, junior English major and Barefoots Joe barista.
Magnuson said that he first wanted to work at Barefoots because he wanted to be a part of all that Barefoot fosters: art, community and friendship.
“My first impression of Barefoots was that it seemed like a nice place to hang out and make friends,” Magnuson said. “I noticed how it cultivated the arts and a sense of community. I could tell it was a great place to create friendships over shared hobbies and interests.”
Magnuson adds that he was interested in understanding the processes behind making the drinks Barefoots serves.
“I always wanted to know more coffee and tea,” Magnuson said. “Working at Barefoots has given me a chance to learn the craft of it all.”
During his time working as a barista, Magnuson has learned more about coffee, tea and what makes a good drink. His personal favorite is a plain latte.
“While working at Barefoots I’ve learned how to be part of a work team, how to coordinate with staff and how to use valuable customer service skills,” Magnuson said. “This is my first time being in the food service industry, so now I have a better feel for what it’s like to be on the other side of the counter which has been really cool.”
Magnuson enjoys working with the staff at Barefoots Joe. He says that the team is a great and dynamic group.
“Each person has unique and great strengths,” Magnuson said. “Each one has been superb and very fun to work with.”
Magnuson’s favorite experience while being a barista at Barefoots Joe is working during J-Term when various high school competitions occur on campus.
“There would be hundreds of high school students crammed into Barefoots with lines out the door,” Magnuson said. “Four or five of us would be working behind the counter going crazy making drinks. Those experiences were exhausting but such a blast.”
Magnuson’s hope for Barefoots Joe in the future includes the continuation of community, cultivation of relationships and serving great drinks.
“I hope that Barefoots can continue to grow and appeal to those from all kinds of backgrounds with all sorts of interests,” Magnuson said. “I also hope the craft of the coffee and tea is constantly improved on so that it will stay top of the line.”
Alongside his position as a barista, Magnuson is also involved in theatre, starring in at least one play every semester. Magnuson’s favorite play he has been a part of during his time at Union is “The Servant of Two Masters” because of the costumes and sword fights.
“My ideal job after Union would be anything that lets me work in close relationship with others while continuing to learn as much as I can,” Magnuson said.
Magnuson plans to graduate in May 2016 with a degree in English with an emphasis in creative writing.
“I love stories,” Magnuson said. “I love the way studying literature helps you to see the beauty of life, and I love the professors.”