Blue State Coffee
Happiness rating is 45 out of 100
2.6 out of 5 stars.
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Working at Blue State Coffee: 34 Reviews

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2.5Work-Life Balance

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Nice Co-workers, Bad higher management

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Blue state Coffee says they pride themselves in being a family-owned business. However, this establishment feels more as a franchise to me. You can get a sense of the environment from past reviews they value money more than they do us. As stated, do not expect higher management to come and help stores whenever it is busy. Instead, they will criticize how we do things and give zero support.One good thing is your co-workers and the manager. They are all kind people compared to people in higher management.
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It's not a horrible place to work, but I wouldn't recommend it. They don't value employees.

I was drawn in by the notion of a flexible schedule for school and full-time hours. While they do offer flexible schedules, they do not provide full-time for anyone other than managers unless they happen to need extra coverage. They don't make things easy for employees. In fact, they make things more challenging than it has to be. They expect employees to be superhuman and work under a lot of stress with no reprieve. Blue State is run by a family of lawyers. They're not business people, and it shows. They don't care about employee concerns, many things are broken/difficult to use, higher-ups smile to your face but talk bad about you behind your back, they'll cut your hours without notice based on sales volume. They make it painfully obvious that making money is their first priority, even at the total expense of their employees.
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Blue State Coffee insights

Based on 46 survey responses
Areas for improvement
  • Overall satisfaction
  • Sense of belonging
  • Fair pay for job

Working in coffee is really fun, but not here

This was a life experience job for me - I am appreciative for what I learned while working there but I am so thrilled to not be there anymore, it was like being in an abusive relationship.

Pros

Coffee is pretty good, sometimes you'll have fun coworkers

Cons

Literally everything else
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Great staff, upper management did not care.

I loved working at Blue State. My coworkers were great and I had fun working with them. The customers were friendly and very understanding. Upper management however did not care about us. We were given minimal training and ultimately coworkers had to teach each other. There was no food safety training. It was very hard work for just barely above minimum wage. Everyone had their hours suddenly cut and people are fired for no reason.

Pros

Free drinks, great coworkers, work was challenging and engaging in a good way.

Cons

Minimal training, thrown to the wolves, management only cares about bottom line.
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Manager was amazing, owner/high up not so much

Working at Blue State Coffee was fun at first but overall really draining. My manager and co workers were the best people i have ever worked with! The problem is the owner doesn't listen to our needs. Due to the pandemic and instore traffic slowing down we started doing online ordering and delivery services. Okay understandable, but once school started again we were slammed instore and on 5 online ordering services! Refusing to hear us out and remove some delivery services or give us a raise that was well deserved. We worked our a** off to make someone that wont even hear us out richer! She would come in and watch us struggle, couldn't do the job if she tried her hardest. Sorry not sorry but $13- $14 an hour is not worth the stress this place will bring to you!

Pros

Free coffee on the day you work
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Official response from Blue State Coffee

December 6, 2021
Hi there, thanks for taking the time to share your experience at Blue State Coffee. It’s great to hear you had such positive interactions with your manager and fellow baristas. As you acknowledged, we never offered online pickup or delivery prior to the pandemic; however, like so many restaurants in the current health and economic environment, these services have become a necessary part of our business. We do understand how difficult it can be to juggle online orders while taking care of customers in the cafe. This is one of many reasons our baristas and supervisors received two separate raises in 2021. We are very sorry to hear your experience wasn’t more positive but appreciate the feedback and wish you the best of luck in your next endeavor.

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quite literally the worst job i’ve ever had in my entire life

i do not even know where to begin with how awfully this company is ran. for starters, they clearly prioritize their profits over the safety and well-being of their employees. we are understaffed, overworked, underpaid, and treated like robots. they will leave one person to run and close the cafe by themselves before even thinking about closing the store. imagine the burden that puts on a single employee. we are required to give 110% of our time, energy, and sanity for $14, free drinks, and half off food. upper management is so tone deaf, out of touch, and stubborn to the point where, on average, no one’s can last longer than a few months. ridiculous. coffee tastes great, though.

Pros

nice coworkers, free coffee

Cons

i am clinically insane now
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Official response from Blue State Coffee

December 6, 2021
Hello, thank you for the feedback. This is certainly not the experience we want our baristas to have and are sorry to hear your time at Blue State Coffee was not more positive. We understand how staffing issues can negatively affect the entire team and have never hesitated to close the cafe early when necessary. We have always been a company that prioritizes ideals and people over profit; we’re very disappointed to hear this was not your perception but do appreciate the feedback and wish you luck in the future.

Stress filled work environment

When I started this job it was so understaffed that at one point it was only me and a former manager working the floor (this job requires atleast 4 people max to work) management and higher upper management lacks professional communication. They find reasons to belittle work ethic without even knowing how to work the floor themselves. Remember this: everyone is replaceable. You will be replaced without a given notice or valid reason.

Pros

Coworkers are somewhat friendly, free coffee beverages

Cons

Little to no breaks, constantly understaffed, management sucks
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draining and stressful

This job has stressed me out to the max. Prepare to be understaffed and pushed to your limit. The owner and higher management will come in to watch and critique us. They will secretly time our ten minute breaks, because we aren’t given real breaks, and say we took a few extra minutes and how it’s unacceptable even though most days we get no breaks at all because it’s so understaffed. They have no idea how the cafe is run day to day and have unrealistic expectations. Our espresso machine is always broken, we spent weeks in the summer with no A/C, something is always broken. Yet we are expected to work fast and be perfect and friendly despite everything falling apart making our jobs so much harder. Unfortunately this terrible environment that is created by higher management effects only the baristas and people actually working in store, we heavily rely on each other’s kindness and compassion which is the only positive. Also, the owner thinks we are all replaceable so do with that what you will.

Pros

my coworkers and manager

Cons

everything else
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Official response from Blue State Coffee

December 6, 2021
Hi there, thank you for taking the time to leave us a review. We are truly sorry to hear your time at Blue State Coffee was not more positive. We understand how difficult it can be to deliver great customer service in the midst of equipment and maintenance issues. Despite our best efforts to address these issues as soon as they are brought to our attention, we are often at the mercy of third-party providers (vendors, etc.) to resolve them in a timely manner. We do want to assure you and anyone reading this that we would never prevent an employee from taking breaks they are entitled to by law. Thank you again for the feedback, and we wish you all the best in the future.

Unnecessarily stressful

Management does not care for employee well-being, nor do they behave professionally, appropriately, or comply with their own company procedures. Unfortunately, it's the other employees who often take the fall for this, in addition to having to navigate a hostile, angry environment created by management.

Pros

none

Cons

Treatment from management
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Bad environment

Bad company very little ethics or regard for its employees, no benefits or Insurance and no paid time off. I feel that if you are an employee you can be thrown away very easily with this company
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Terrible company

Nothing good to say. They fire years long employees for minor infractions, treat all staff including management as disposable peons. They dropped the percentage of money they give away the second they started being profitable.
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Is what it is

It is what it is. A coffeeshop. You have the flexibility to work with various different scheduling conflicts. Easiest job in the world. Cons:Sometimes you have to work with people who are under influence of drugs, sleep deprived or in other words.. you have to pick up slack

Pros

Flexibility, tips

Cons

Interactions with coworkers
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“Blue State” is just a catchphrase to make $

I’ve had so many customer service jobs and this hands down is the most unprofessional environment I’ve ever encountered. The founder and CEO has a butt load of money (and pays her workers a dime above minimum and calls it ‘competitive wage’) and just would come by our newly opened store to make nice to our faces and then tell our manager things like “fire the employee with cancer” (real story). Our manager was let go for not bowing down to her basically and they replaced him with a girl who was barely out of high school and she could not handle the position to say the least. The name ‘Blue State’ is clearly a farce to draw in liberal suckers and it works! Too bad the actual company doesn’t practice leftist beliefs.

Pros

honestly ???

Cons

pay, awful ceo, poor executive decisions, throwing out unused/uneaten food instead of donating, not enough training, prejudice
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They make sure you eat and drink

It was a great experience working with Blue State coffe i had the chance to view places I never been before. I met some great people and I had some good snacks
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Bad management, good job overall

Blue State has a good mission statement but does a bad job of making their employees feel secure in their job. Store managers were fired left and right. Work atmosphere was fun up to a point, but management created an environment of stress and paranoia.
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Unstable, disrespectful, quick-paced work environment

Note: this is only my experience. Many have different experiences than mine. A typical day at work (mostly if you're newish) involves pretty much making sandwiches and sometimes taking orders/pouring coffee. I'm not sure what others experience but in my experience, it was incredibly difficult. Not because the actual job was all that difficult, but because the management was so negative and toxic. I was not at all ever encouraged to do a good job through positive encouragement. Instead, I would be pulled to the side during a shift and berated about all the ways I was doing the job negatively and how I needed to step up to stay at the job. There was no positive reinforcement. Though I improved steadily, there was no recognition of that improvement save for two occurrences. So instead of truthfully wanting to do a good job to impress my boss and move up in the ranks, I was trying to do a good job just so that I wouldn't get fired. I was scared every day that I was going to get fired. I probably was not the model employee - I'm a rather quiet and relaxed person with ADD - but even so, the way I was treated (like some robotic cow) was horrible and unhealthy. I was not respected in the slightest and, in turn, I became bitter and neither respected the manager. Furthermore, the hours are incredibly erratic. While you do get your schedule 2 weeks in advance, it is essentially random and your hours will never be stable. You can work 14 hours a week or 30. You can work a 6 am shift one day and the next a 2 pm one. Some may like this but I found it physically and emotionally - 

Pros

Free drinks

Cons

Short breaks, high turnover, unprofessional and negative management, negative work environment
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A mix of busy, stressful, and fun

Very high-paced food service jobs are always stressful and Blue State is no exception. However, regular customers and consistently growing knowledge of coffee and preparation techniques as well as the freedom to experiment make it a fun atmosphere and foster friendship between employees. My manager from this time is no longer with the company due to her less-than-stellar treatment of her employees, and I understand that things have improved solidly under new management.
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If your manager is bad your life is bad. Not paid enough. Owner is a fraud

Owner is a monster. Her entire mission statement is a lie. Ridiculous business practices. Everyone is viewed as highly expendable including management and supervisors and employees that have been with the company for years. Fires people and wont even disclose why.
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Fantastic place to work (but as a student)

Absolutely love my fellow co-workers and manager---they are probably the biggest reason I am still around (and the free drinks since I am a student and constantly need to be caffeinated). However, it needs to be said that this is not a job that works long-term. My employment is one that is very low stakes as one of the younger employees with less obligations, but for those with more expenses or a need for structure (hours are variable), this is not the place for you. Staying hired here is not all that difficult if you are willing to get along with others, adhere to customer service, have enough of a work ethic, and reasonably retain the information you are given. And as everyone else has pointed out, upper management can be detached from the everyday concerns of their employees and often expects far more than what is reasonable for what we are being paid.
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Ate my life and I didn't even realize

I really want to leave a good review of my employment while at Blue State, but in retrospect, the company doesn't deserve it. I was hired as a part-time worker, and before I knew it I was working 35-hour weeks while I was a full-time student. I brought the issue to management time and time again and it was never resolved. By the time I quit, I realized I had been taken advantage of and gave way too much of my life and time to Blue State and I didn't even realize it was happening. If you're a full-time student or value the time it takes to take care of yourself, mind and body, I strongly advise against working at Blue State. There are far more food industry jobs in this city that are run significantly better, value their employees as humans, and don't expect you to put your part-time food service job above everything else.

Pros

free drinks, half off food, some good friends

Cons

don't expect to have much of a life outside BSC
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Keep the low low

Like many corporate business models, Blue State sought to maximize profits while minimizing internal operating expenditure. This corporate model restricted worker wage, benefit, and support while attempting to overload worker responsibility.

Pros

Coffee

Cons

Working too hard for far too little.
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Overall rating

Based on 34 reviews

Ratings by category

2.5 out of 5 stars for Work/Life Balance
2.3 out of 5 stars for Compensation/Benefits
2.1 out of 5 stars for Job Security/Advancement
2.3 out of 5 stars for Management
2.6 out of 5 stars for Culture

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