1. Aaron (Sully) Sullivan Wandering Goat Coffee Co. 268 Madison St. 541-344-5161. WanderingGoat.com.
2. Okon Udosenata Equiano 300 Blair Blvd. 541-953-2879. EquianoCoffee.com.
3. Katie Stowe Stay Woke,1380 W. 7th Ave. 541-600-0585. StayWokepnw.com.
Aaron (Sully) Sullivan’s first reaction to hearing he was a finalist for Eugene Weekly’s Best Baristawas “What? Who did this? Why would they do this to me?” followed by “OK, this feels good to be recognized.” Sullivan has been a barista for most of his life, starting in drive-thrus and working his way through bakeries and coffee shops in town; most notably Sweet Life Patisserie and now Wandering Goat.
“It feels like a Eugene bingo card that’s been crossed off since I’ve lived here my whole life,” Sullivan says.
Sullivan realized he could make being a barista a career after he started working at Sweet Life and realized he could make just as much money making coffee as he could doing anything he went to college for. “I was in college right around the time of the recession,” he says. “There weren’t a lot of job opportunities and I thought, ‘Well I can keep doing this.’”
Sullivan says his favorite part about being a barista at Wandering Goat is that he can really be himself. “I think customers really like that I don’t do the whole ‘canned customer service’ thing,” Sullivan says. “I am just kind of myself, which I guess is a little gregarious.”
When Sullivan isn’t making a latte or cappuccino at Wandering Goat you can find him making art or using his very own aeropress to make his own fresh brewed coffee because he’s become “a real coffee snob” over the years working as a barista.