Welcome to our tasteful Q&A with the seasoned barista Shanon of The Buzz Cafe! In this interview, we’ll brew up the conversation into the art of making the perfect cup of coffee, explore the barista’s favorite drinks, and learn more about one of downtown Kenosha’s hottest coffee shops The Buzz. So take a sip and enjoy the interview.
Q. How long have you been working as a barista and how long have you been w/ the Buzz?
Shanon: This answer is the same! I have worked at The Buzz as a barista for 6 years, getting promoted to management roughly a year and a half after starting as a barista.
Q.What inspired you to work at The Buzz?
Shanon: This was the first Cafe I had been to in Kenosha. I am originally from Illinois and was drawn to the comfort of The Buzz. I would drive from my hometown, Zion, at least once a week to get a latte!
Q. Can you tell me about the types of coffee beans The Buzz uses?
Shanon: We use a curated blend created just for us. It is called The Hive Blend and we spent weeks with our private roaster working on the flavor profile.
Q. Does The Buzz offer any specialty or unique coffee blends?
Shanon: We surprisingly only offer one coffee. The blend we chose works perfectly for both drip coffee and espresso.
Q. What are some of the most popular items on the menu at The Buzz?
Shanon: The Honey Bee and Nutella Latte are definitely our top two. Honorable mention to one of our seasonal lattes, The Sugar Cookie Latte, which is a staff favorite.
Q. What are your signature drinks or pastries?
Shanon: We rotate our menu seasonally! Right now we have seasonal house made syrups – sugar cookie, gingersnap, hot honey, peppermint sage and brown sugar. For pastries, we have an in-house baker that bakes fresh cookies, muffins and other delicious pastries.
Q. How do you or The Buzz produce new menu items?
Shanon: I take inspiration from social media and the Sazzy B bar team. We try our best to put our heads together and produce ideas. The food menu is created by our Chef, also seasonally, taking inspiration from fruits and vegetables that are in season.
Q. What is the kind of vibes from The Buzz?
Shanon: I think we give off a kind of hipster vibe with the interior being a little bit moody because of the original brick walls. I would say we are warm and inviting.
Q. How does The Buzz engage/connect with the local community?
Shanon: Our main source of engagement comes from social media. Our events coordinator Ken does private reach out to groups such as The Boys and Girls Club.
Q. How do you ensure a positive customer experience at The Buzz?
Shanon: I try my best to be as welcoming and friendly as possible.
Q. What are some of the challenges being a barista?
Shanon: I think the most challenging part of being a barista is trying to memorize all of the drink recipes.
Q. On the flip side, what are the most rewarding aspects of being a successful barista?
Shanon: For me, the most rewarding aspect is when I can see how happy it makes guests when I can remember their drink order.
Q. Do you have any sustainable or eco-friendly practices in place at The Buzz?
Shanon: We recycle as much as we possibly can, including bottles and cardboard. Our roaster also sources fair trade coffee.
Q. Are there any events or community activities that The Buzz participates in?
Shanon: Most recently we are participating in Snow Daze and Kenosha Restaurant Week of course. We try to make sure to do all events that happen in the downtown area.
Q. Does The Buzz have a loyalty program?
Shanon: We do! You can sign up after any transaction or on our website.
Q. What is the day to day like being a barista at The Buzz?
Shanon: Day to day includes a lot of coffee drinking, stocking, and socialization.
Q. Are there any upcoming seasonal promotions or events?
Shanon: Kenosha Restaurant Week is right around the corner!
Q. Can you tell us a little about the fantastic staff at The Buzz?
Shanon: If you’ve been to the cafe, I’m sure you’ll recognize some friendly faces. Many members of our staff are long term, and some have been here for more than 5 years!
Q. What do you love about working in downtown Kenosha?
Shanon: I love how all the businesses know each other and work together when it comes to solving problems. All our neighbors are so amazing, and we love being able to engage with them.
Q. Are there any new features or offerings The Buzz will be introducing in the future?
Shanon: Those things will be kept a secret…
Q. What makes The Buzz stand out from all the other coffee shops in the area?
Shanon: I think the two most Important things are that we make almost all of our syrups in house, and we use a private label coffee that was curated just for us!
Q. What is your favorite drink at The Buzz?
Shanon: My everyday drink is an iced sugar cookie latte with soy milk.
Q. Besides The Buzz, what is your favorite place to get coffee in downtown Kenosha?
Shanon: I know this isn’t really downtown, but I love to go to Daily Dose Cafe!