Meet Your Glitter Cat Barista Bootcamp Trainees!

The inaugural Glitter Cat Barista Bootcamp is this October—we talk to the selection committee and meet the 10 baristas chosen to participate!


Ten baristas have been chosen to participate in the inaugural Glitter Cat Barista Bootcamp, a three-day competition prep session to be held in Philadelphia later this month. Founder T. Ben Fischer created the bootcamp to support and encourage marginalized and underrepresented barista competitors, and received over 50 applications from baristas across the nation.

Narrowing it down to 10 was difficult, but the selection committee carefully considered every applicant. “I was looking for someone who would do well being an ambassador. Someone who was barista-centered, who could represent not just the industry, but the work baristas do everyday to make coffee even [more] relevant in the marketplace and still succeed,” said D’Onna Stubblefield, a member of the wholesale customer support team at Counter Culture Coffee and the Glitter Cat selection committee.

The selection committee picked baristas with varying levels of competition experience, and talked about how Glitter Cat would help them in the competition circuit. “I was looking for applicants who would not otherwise have been involved in competition, or would not have been as successful without the support from Glitter Cat,” said Kat Adams of Bird Rock Coffee. “I prioritized applicants from underrepresented communities, and specifically looked for folks who wanted a chance to win. I would be thrilled to see a Glitter Cat graduate win the barista competition this year.”

The selection committee took their jobs seriously—for obvious reasons, but also because the implications of doing well in barista competitions can be substantial and need to be shared by a larger, more diverse group of baristas. “T. Ben reached out to me to be on the selection committee for Glitter Cat … but I agreed because I feel like there is a real need for marginalized baristas to have the chance to compete and show up, because there are very few times in which a large part of the specialty-coffee community is listening to one person at a time, and competition is one of them,” shared Adam JacksonBey of The Potter’s House and DMV Coffee. “Competing has been especially helpful to my own career and I wanted the chance to be as help to as many people as possible, in any way possible.”

Without further ado, here are the 10 baristas:

Elisabeth Johnson
Joseph William Gonzalez
Becca DeBoer
Kara Huckabone
Audrey Delmar Propster
Emily Orendorff
Regino Palazuelos
Rodrigo Welsch
Anthony Ragler
Topher Ou
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Ashley is the Online Editor for Barista Magazine. She's based in Chicago. If you want to share a story or have a comment, you can reach her at