Blizzard Barista Keeps Coffee Flowing

Sarah Grillo opened up at Felicia's Saturday morning expecting to serve a few plow drivers, but got slammed.

When the blizzard hit last week, Felicia Revens was away, but she wanted to open up her coffee shop as soon as possible to be a resource for those working the storm. She arranged to have her cousin, Jamie Piscopio, who has a truck, pick up Sarah Grillo, who lives downtown, to have her open up. 

The idea was other workers would follow, but with road conditions so bad, it soon became clear that Grillo was going to have to handle things herself.

"We didn't think it was going to be busy," Grillo said. "We opened at 7 and there were plow drivers already waiting." 

By 8 a.m., things started getting really busy. 

"Everyone that came in kept saying we were the only place open around for miles and miles," said Grillo. "It was just nonstop."

Grillo kept saying "we" but it was an "I" situation. There was only Sarah making coffee, pouring coffee, putting bagels in the oven, cashing people out. Normally, there are 4 to 5 workers on for the morning shift, she said. The wait was longer than normal but Grillo said people were pretty understanding.

"They were actually very patient. They were grateful that we were open which I appreciated," she said. 

Meanwhile, Revens kept in contact with Grillo throughout the day. It was frustrating not to be able to help.

"I’m usually there manning the ship," she said. "As she started to get busy, I panicked."

Revens did talk two friends into coming in at around 3 to pitch in. "I owe them a nice dinner!"

As for Grillo, who's been working at Felicia's for 10 years, Revens said, "She did a great job."

Grillo closed up at 6 on Saturday and Piscopio gave her a ride home. "I was just tired. I didn’t have two seconds to clean up, to get a cup of coffee myself," she said. At home, she said, "I had some beef stew and just relaxed."

She was back on the job Monday. 







Heather Larkin February 12, 2013 at 10:01 PM
Well done Sarah! Thanks!
Cindy White Overton February 13, 2013 at 04:58 PM
We were 2 of Sarah's customers that morning. There were 40 plow drivers quietly lined up behind us, and although everyone was cheerful and patient, Sarah was unable to stop moving for even a second. She deftly worked the drive-up window AND the inside counter completely alone, and had a smile on her face the entire time. I remember thinking she was the unsung hero of that storm and I'm thrilled to see her efforts acknowledged. Great job Sarah... you were a true bright spot in a cold and difficult day.
Elizabeth McNamara February 13, 2013 at 07:40 PM
Wow, thanks for adding to the story, Cindy!
Felicia February 14, 2013 at 01:56 PM
Heather, Cindy and Elizabeth, customers like you make our jobs a pleasure! Thank you, Felicia, Sarah and the rest of our gang


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