Why Join The BGA? Cole and Laila Weigh In
Cole Mc Bride, Visions Espresso, Seattle, WA
For me, joining the Barista Guild of America (BGA) has been one of the best decisions I've made in my career as a coffee professional. Becoming connected with some of the most knowledgeable and dedicated people in the community was huge for me. This community reaches outside of the walls that you work within. Coming together at Barista Camp with these folks, getting to know them and share ideas with them, has helped me become a better barista in many ways, especially with regard to professional service.
Another area of value I see in joining the BGA is barista competitions. Most of the people competing are BGA members and I've learned so much from their experiences in competition. Training for these events has helped me learn to be a better barista by getting feedback from the judges that was extremely valuable. BGA members also receive a discount on registration fees.
Events that the BGA and SCAA put on are always amazing and I look forward to many more to come. Member-Driven Events (MDE) are a great way to connect with your local community and help make the BGA a stronger organization. Barista Camp is an amazing educational event that the BGA puts on twice a year and I cannot think of a better place to get an education in being a great Barista.
Laila Ghambari, Caffe Ladro, Seattle, WA
The BGA is a volunteer based organization. The fact that it’s busting at the seams with talented, hard-working people, shows how much passion and dedication there is in this industry.
It took me a while to see the importance of the BGA. I didn’t see much representation or events in my area so I didn’t really see what it could do for me. I quickly realized that if I desired to have a BGA presence in my area, complaining wasn’t going to make it happen. I needed to put in my own share of work. I decided to get involved, and it was one of the best decisions I’ve made in regards to, learning, growing and sharing in my coffee profession.
There are three main benefits that I have found from being a part of the BGA: education, community, and networking - and they all work beautifully together. It starts with community. Joining the BGA surrounds you with a group of people with similar interests. Building friendships is a natural occurrence. From these people you will learn more than you could have imagined. Not only does the BGA have an amazing curriculum, the people in the guild are talented professionals and teachers, and you get to be friends with them, and make coffee with them! The sharing of ideas and information with new friends is inevitable. Lastly, the network you have now built around yourself is massive: people from around the world with different jobs, in different companies, in different fields of the industry. A web of connections to just about anything you need is there. I’m not saying that all this comes without work, but if you put yourself out there, it is possible to make being a BGA member one of your most valuable resources. We are strong because of each individual's hard work. We are present and wide-spread because of every person that gets involved. We are a community that can do powerful things when we work together.
To contact Cole, Laila or other members of the BGA Executive Council, please click here.
To join the Barista Guild of America, click here.
To create a profile in the SCAA database, first you'll want to click here and complete the steps to create a user account. Then click here and select 'Add to Cart'. Follow the steps through to the purchase screen and once the transaction is complete, you'll be an official BGA member! Please email us at firstname.lastname@example.org if you have questions at any time. We look forward to welcoming you into the BGA community!