Skip to Navigation

Boldness Brewing at Virginia Coffee Shop

Bookmark and Share

Ibby Piracha, 23, visits Starbucks in Leesburg, VA three times each week. However, when he may have a craving for a venti, iced, cold-brewed coffee with two sugars, almond milk, and a shot of vanilla flavoring, he can’t express it verbally like most customers. Piracha is deaf, which also limits his ability to speak words clearly. To satisfy his coffee craving, Piracha typically types his order on his phone and shows it to the staff. But, during a recent visit, he received a surprise he never expected.

Starbucks Note

Image from Huffington Post article

The Huffington Post recently published an article sharing a heartwarming story about a selfless barista who went the extra mile for this valued customer.

Piracha was handed a note from one of his regular baristas that read, “I’ve been learning ASL (American Sign Language) just so you can have the same experience as everyone else.” The barista also gestured “what do you want to drink” in sign language.

Stunned, Piracha shared his customer experience on Facebook. He wrote, “I am so blessed with her. I think she realized Leesburg, VA has deaf people.” This bold act of kindness has gone viral, and Starbucks issued a statement saying they were proud of the employee at their Leesburg’s store.

This story should remind us that values are the basis of an organization’s core, and ultimately are reflected by employees’ day-to-day actions. These values should be so intertwined within the organization that they are visibly seen through each fiber of the company, from upper level management down to the entry level team members. One of Starbucks’ values states they are focused on “creating a culture of warmth and belonging, where everyone is welcome.” Not only did this barista demonstrate her company’s values, but also her personal values through her humble act. This barista provided a customer experience that allowed Piracha and others (via the web) a glimpse into Starbucks’ mission.

Are your company’s values unmistakably evident to your stakeholders?

We would love to hear from you! If you have an employee who has displayed exceptional customer service while reinforcing your company values, please share your story and email

Ashley Metivier
Activities Coordinator, NASBA Center for the Public Trust (CPT)