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Dear Raphael, I am sorry I compared you to a Turtle

I used to have an amazing Barista.

One quiet morning, my Barista started a conversation with me.

He introduced himself as Raphael and in all my wisdom I replied: ‘Ah, like the Ninja Turtle’.

To which he stared at me blankly for a few seconds.

Then replied ‘Yes, like the turtle… I have never thought of it like that’.

Slowly, he turned around to make my coffee and that was the awkward end of our interaction.

I am telling you this story because March 1st is National Barista Day.

It makes me think of Raphael. And all the ways I could have not made a Teenage Mutant Ninja Turtle reference.

So, let’s all show some appreciation for that Barista who greets us warmly in the morning and sends us to face our day with a coffee made just the way we like it.

At least, I think today is National Barista Day.

It kicked off with a bang in 2019.

And then 2020 happened…

But I am going to run with it because it’s a day for appreciation of our Baristas, and do you know what that means?

My third coffee today is absolutely justified.

National Barista Day is the brainchild of Almond Breeze. Yes, a milk company promoting the consumption of their products.

It’s quite clever marketing.

Why is it clever? Because is it easy to get on board with. It’s a great opportunity for a coffee shop or café to have some topical content to connect with your clients.

Get them to try something new.

Like an Almond Milk Latte.


As a café, aligning yourself with Barista Day is pretty easy: It is on-brand, and it can be fun without being unprofessional.

If your brand is a little cheeky, roll with it!

Fun equals meaningful connections with your clients, and meaningful connections means building your client loyalty.

Put simply, to find the ‘Newsworthiness’ of a story we look for a combination of seven elements:

  • Impact – does it affect a lot of people?

  • Timeliness – Is it a recent event?

  • Prominence – Does is involve a well-known person or entity?

  • Proximity – Is it about something local?

  • Conflict – Is it a disagreement?

  • Weirdness – Is it something unusual or strange?

  • Currency – Is it related to a topic people are already talking about?

For a café, Barista Day is going to cover a number of these elements.

At the very least:

  • It has an impact on you and your clients if you run an event or special

  • It is timely (today)

  • It is in proximity, because you are promoting to your clients who are likely to be regulars and physically come into your café

  • It can be weird – that one is up to what you want to make of it

In a nut-shell, it makes great content.

This is not to say you should jump on board with every cause around. If your cause is political or divisive, consider what you do all year round to support it.

A timely show of support is nice, but keep in mind that token efforts can backfire.

For instance, a shop that specialises in Fair Trade and ethically sourced products could find ‘Fair Trade Day’ on the 8th of May an opportunity to raise awareness, educate and expand their reach, whilst promoting the cause they back all year long.

If you are a coffee shop and you don’t sell Fair Trade Coffee, you might want to sit this promotion out.

There is a day of a year for pretty much everything. Align yourself strategically, and these can be a fun way to engage with your clients and customers.

For some inspiration, check out this site dedicated to ‘days of the year’:

And just so we are all clear; the next time I meet a Raphael there will be no mention of turtles.


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