If you’ve ever grabbed a cup of much-needed coffee or a delicious baked goodie from The East Cafe, then it’s quite likely you’ve met Alice, one of the smiling faces behind the counter. She’s been with the cafe since September, but has been working as a barista for a decade now – so we who better to chat with and ask what it is she enjoys most about her job, and the community she works in. East Cafe When we ask her why she’s a barista, her answer is short and simple. “It’s my passion,” Alice tells us. “I’ve worked at a lot of different cafes, and I’m really on the customer service end of things,” she says. “I love coffee of course, but it’s kind of secondary for me which is sort of embarrassing to say – but I care more about the people.” The East Cafe opened in May of 2013, and is now owned and run by Tomo and Eric, who will be celebrating their one year with the cafe this summer. “This is the best job I’ve had, and it’s because the owners are so lovely and really want us to be ourselves, be creative, and be a bit crazy if we want,” Alice says. “It’s so awesome, and so rare. We’re so blessed, all of us who work here.” When we ask Alice what it is about the East Village she likes most, it comes back to the people who make up the area. “There’s a sense of community here that’s really hard to find in the city. I’m really lucky at my job to get to talk to lots of people from all walks of life, and form a small relationship with them.” East Cafe 2 “It’s the people, the variety, the general vibe,” she continues. “I find whenever I go downtown, I almost feel tense. Once I cross back over, things feel like home. People are a little more expressive, I guess. I can breathe.”

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