Stu Helm: Anyone got a job for out-of-work Waking Life baristas?

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

avl_food_fan_2015Good morning, Asheville! As I sit here drinking my first cup of coffee, I’m thinking about the whole Waking Life Espresso thing that went down yesterday, and recalling that I got a bad vibe off of that guy from the very beginning. Some of you may even remember that I had a FaceBook fight with him a few months back. I called him a coffee snob, and he said some really shitty things about Asheville, the people who live here, the people who don’t live here, the other food and coffee vendors in town, and of course, me. At that time he exposed himself as the complete turd that he is, and revealed his contempt for the rest of us. I even referred to him in one of my pieces onAshvegas, not by name, but as one of the dudes who tried to “man-splain” the economy to me when I was simply yearning for a bohemian-style cafe.

You can re-read that here if you’d like:…

After seeing some of his horrid posts on Twitter, I understand now that women are at the top of his list of those he holds in contempt. From what I saw and read, he is a straight-up misogynist, spreading hate on the internet, no different than a Neo-Nazi or KKK member. I really really really can’t fucking stand this guy. BOOO!

So, last night some of my female friends asked me if I could help a little bit by putting out the call to all of the other cafes in town who might be willing and able to hire one or more of the five  employees —  both male and female — who walked out on Waking Life. I know that BattleCat CoffeeBar and PennyCup Coffee Co. have stepped-up already and might be able to absorb one or two, but what about you, other shops? Is there any space in your schedule for a well-trained barista?

High Five Coffee, Izzy’s Coffee Den, Clingman Cafe, City Bakery,Sovereign Remedies, World Coffee Cafe Asheville, Edna’s of Asheville, ODDS, Urban Orchard Cider Company and Bar, French Broad Chocolate Lounge… I’m trying to think of every place in town that I know with an espresso machine…. Chestnut? Joe told me recently that you don’t have a trained barista, and that everyone sort of “has fun” with the espresso machine. Maybe it’s time to hire an expert?

If any of you food and beverage vendors have a position (or five) open that these fine young people can fill for you, please let me know and I will pass the info on to them. I was asked to do this, and it’s as serious as can be. Not one of these folks should have to work for men who actively and vehemently despise women.

Jared says in his lame apology that he “grew up in West Asheville.” Well, buddy, maybe it’s time to see the big wide world and try living in another city? In other words: Get the fuck outta here. Douche.

Jason Sandford

Jason Sandford is a reporter, writer, blogger and photographer interested in all things Asheville.

  • 1

You Might also Like


  1. Jill September 21, 2015

    My opinion of Stu just went through the roof. Good on ya’!
    I hope your efforts result in all five of those folks finding replacement jobs.

    BTW, big respect to those people who left their jobs in absolute protest and disagreement with the nasty attitudes and actions of Ding and Dong!

  2. David S September 21, 2015

    Someone tell the employees to hang tight. These owners are going to have to sell and a buyer is going to need the employees.

  3. Big Al September 20, 2015

    Baristas? I thought they were the OWNERS. How likely are they to get a job pouring other shops’ coffee after this? GTFOOH indeed.

    Still, good call back when. You Da Man.

    1. Barry Summers September 20, 2015

      I think the out-of-work baristas he refers to are the employees who quit, not the misogynist owners themselves.

      1. Big Al September 21, 2015

        Once again, I read too fast and missed this point. I hope they do get jobs. No need to suffer for their bosses’ misdeeds.

        1. Barry Summers September 21, 2015

          It happens. Ditto on the jobs.


Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.

Related Stories