Stephanie Mleziva admits that she arrived at Blue Horse Beach Cafe, 4113 Main St. in Fish Creek, with minimal experience in the service industry. But, what she found was a place to grow a new set of skills and an extended workplace family.
Sara Rae Lancaster (SRL): How long have you been working at Blue Horse?
Stephanie Mleziva (SM): About three and a half years. It’ll be four years this winter.
SRL: What do you enjoy most about your work?
SM: I really enjoy making coffee drinks and making fun and pretty delicious things. Plus, it’s a lot of fun to get to know the different customers that come in, especially the locals during the winter. And just working at Blue Horse in general. It is a really busy place. You really learn to work fast and efficiently without sacrificing quality.
SRL: Had you worked in a coffee house prior to working at Blue Horse?
SM: Honestly, it was all new to me. I hadn’t worked in the service industry much before working here. I remember I told Carina when I applied that I wanted to learn to make the best latte.
SRL: And have you?
SM: I like to think so! I guess when you think about a cup of coffee, or more specifically a latte, it seems pretty simple, but there are actually a lot of different facets.
SRL: Do you have a favorite item on the menu?
SM: My favorite drink is the Cafe Miel honey latte with cinnamon. I tend to rotate through the foods. Right now I’m on a jalapeño egg kick, but definitely the breakfast sandwiches are a favorite of mine.
SRL: What is the most challenging aspect of your job?
SM: Well, because it’s such a busy place, people are watching you work from behind the espresso machine. You wouldn’t think there’s pressure in that, but there is. People are pretty specific about their coffee and their level of flavor, and we never want to lose the quality of the food for the sake of time.
But I love it! I wouldn’t be here as long as I have been if I didn’t. Eric and Carina are amazing bosses and have cultivated a real family feel among the employees. Even with things outside of work, there is just a really sweet bond between everyone.
SRL: What do you enjoy doing when you aren’t making delicious coffee beverages?
SM: I like running and being active. I also teach classes at the YMCA and bought a house a year ago – so now I’m into decorating that and everything that goes into making a house fun and pretty.