Story last updated at 4/11/2012 - 11:35 am
Ever wondered about someone you pass on the sidewalk, see in the grocery store, or heard mentioned in stories? This is our attempt to track those people down, and grill them, lightly.
The job title "barista" has a smart and sexy ring. That persona is no better exemplified than by Stephanie Smathers, who works at The Grind drive-through coffee shack off of Glacier Hwy.
Twenty-five-year-old Smathers works the morning shift at the snowboard-laden hut. It's clear she can turn on the charm when she wants to, with straight and long strawberry hair, clear and fresh skin, and a teasing smile. It's also clear she is unlikely to put up with too much foolishness; she has a straight-talking, no-nonsense attitude.
She was just untying her work apron when I rapped on the door to ask her a few questions, only after being assured that the "Will you be my friend?" column was not an advertisement. She has plenty of friends, she told me.
Smathers was preparing to head to her second job as an accountant at her father's business, Action Appliance Repair. She's good with numbers. She's almost three years into a business and an accounting degree, though she's not yet sure how she wants to apply it.
Smathers grew up in Juneau. Her parents live in Juneau, and she has three sisters, three nephews and one niece. She currently lives in the Mendenhall Valley, though after graduating high school, she spent a year in California.
That's likely how her attitude about the shopping situation in Juneau developed. "It sucks," she said. Smathers spends a fair amount of time shopping online, and admits she's compulsive about it over the holidays.
But this woman is more than merely materialistic. She's a jock. She plays volleyball and softball, she loves the gym and the outdoors in general, especially camping. Particularly, she loves running with her dog, a boxer. She also loves sushi.
I asked Smathers about her attributes. She was humble, and laughed uncomfortably at the thought of talking about herself, so fellow barista Shelby Eyre cut in. "She's smart, she's helpful, she has a great work ethic. She's a great team player, always helping other people."