TODAY’S COFFEES roasted in San Diego on 4/19/24:

NOTE: An open letter from Better Buzz baristi follows today’s coffee listings.

BIRD ROCK: Guatemala La Providencia Maragogype varietal (Elephant Bean) light roast (big surprise there) small lot of this tricky little coffee available from this afternoon.

MODERN TIMES: Colombia Sierra Nevada single origin light roast washed process; Ethiopia/Kenya Neon Canopy Spring Blend, both washed process. These coffees will be part of a Mother’s Day set. Get Mom wired today!


Living wages, respect core values sought by local chain baristi in open letter to SD coffee community

An open letter to San Diego County from the baristas of Better Buzz Hillcrest

By Katy Jae Waldman

San Diego is a beacon of equality, progress, and acceptance that makes it unlike anywhere else in the world. It is a vibrant and lively place with a diverse and powerful community. San Diego takes care of its people, and we are proud of it. But unfortunately, the people that keep us clothed, fed, and caffeinated are suffering at the hands of their employers.

Amidst their rapid growth, it has become clear that Better Buzz Coffee is no exception to this. It seems that their pitch decks and investor meetings left out how their wageworkers were to share the spoils of their achievement. Their profits are soaring, but their workers are hurting. We reject that. With the support of The United Food and Commercial Workers International Union Local 135 (UFCW) the baristas, trainers, and shift supervisors of Better Buzz Hillcrest are filing an election petition with the National Labor Relations Board on this day, April 19th, 2024.

We believe that all workers deserve access to benefits, fair wages, and a safe work environment. At Better Buzz Hillcrest, these needs have not been met. We are fighting for the following and more.

1.    Increase wages to a livable standard

2.    Provide health and wellness benefits to every Better Buzz employee regardless of if they are full or part time employees

3.    Guarantee consistent hours and scheduling as well as a comprehensive PTO model

We are advocating not only for our fellow baristas, but for all employees of the food and service industry. We are more than cogs in a wheel. We are the fuel that keeps these corporations going, and without us, they are nothing. If our hours get cut their pockets stay lined. If they hire ineffective management and refuse to fix broken machinery then we leave, hoping the next job pays us 50 cents more per hour. It won’t, but we hope nonetheless. And when we get to the register, apron tied and smile painted, we ask the customer if they want to add a chocolate croissant to their order.

If we stay silent, then we let those in power continue the cycle that has profited from the working class for hundreds of years. That era is over. The time to organize is now.

To the San Diego community, be still and await our call for help. We are only in the preliminary stages of this fight, but if Better Buzz deploys union busting efforts then we will need your support in any way you can offer.

For the baristas, trainers, and supervisors of all Better Buzz locations, we are fighting for you too. Know that your voice holds power. You are on the floor doing the hard work. You are the one waking up at 4 am to serve coffee to your community. We are the glue that holds Better Buzz together. You know what is true and you deserve so much more. Better Buzz Hillcrest and the UFCW are working to bring you that. Talk to your coworkers. Organize. We are here for you.

To those unsure of unions or are anti-union, we only ask for your eyes and ears. We cannot sway you one way or the other, but we ask for the opportunity to present our case. We only want to put food on our tables.

Empathy and love are some of the few boundless things in this world. They are infinite and replenishing. Hold that space for us, and I promise we will not disappoint.


Support the baristas of Better Buzz Hillcrest through their unionizing efforts. Follow on Instagram and voice your support with the hashtag #lifesbetterunionized.

Are you a Better Buzz employee and want to learn more? Contact UFCW Local 135’s Organizing Department at or call 619.752.1439.

In addition to the flagship Hillcrest location, UFCW Local 135 is organizing Better Buzz shops in San Marcos, Escondido, Encinitas, La Mesa, Coronado, Bonita, Carlsbad and nine others in the city of San Diego.


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