Starbucks barista from a Grass Valley Safeway wins competition |

Starbucks barista from a Grass Valley Safeway wins competition

Sam Corey
Staff Writer

Selina Duncan describes her co-working environment as “a little family.”

She works at the Starbucks in the Safeway on Sutton Way, and one of her co-workers, Shawn Covington, was just given the Starbucks Barista Champion 2019 award for a July barista competition at California State University Sacramento.

“I don’t usually win things,” said Covington, adding that it was all the more exciting when he did.

Covington’s co-workers were happy to see him rewarded for his work, especially considering his positive influence on his peers.

“It’s a really fun environment, especially with Shawn (Covington), because he just makes it a super good environment,” said Duncan.

This is the fifth year the Starbucks Barista Championship has been held, said Carla Prescott, district manager for Starbucks Coffee Company, who oversees parts of central and Northern California.

Baristas competed at their store level, and then moved up to the district and area level. The entire process lasted from January to July, said Prescott.

While the competition area consists of about 170 Starbucks stores, said Prescott, not every store participated in the competition, and so the total number of competitors was undetermined.

For the area level competition itself, barista competitors were judged on their espresso craft and tested on their knowledge of different beverages, among other things.

“(Covington) really did win it hands down,” said Prescott, later adding that “Shawn creates a warm and welcoming environment” and “models leadership around beverage quality.”

For winning the event, said Prescott, Covington was awarded a plaque, social media recognition as well as Starbucks swagger.

To contact Staff Writer Sam Corey, email or call 530-477-4219.

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