Ashley Peterson

A Masterclass on Bringing Your Human to Work: A Sit Down with Erica’s Favorite Starbucks Store Manager, Ashley Peterson

On this week’s episode of Left to Our Own Devices, Erica sits down with an old friend and the woman who inspired it all. Ashley Peterson, originally Erica’s Starbucks barista on the Upper West Side and now managing her own Starbucks in Midtown, was the catalyst for Erica’s first book, Bring Your Human to Work, after the two shared a very intentional, “human” moment one morning. Ashley just gets it. From getting to know her patrons, their kids, their orders, and even their nannies, to empowering her partners to make a “commitment” each shift (like learn five customer’s names), Ashley embodies what it means to “bring your human” to work and to life. Erica and Ashley catch up on what it’s like managing a Starbucks in a pandemic, the rituals that Ashley incorporates at her store, and how a passion for people drives everything she does.


“For me really it’s just getting to know people and meeting them where they are. A lot of times people are on the go, in a rush. They want to just get their coffee and go. And it’s up to you to actually make that human connection and say, ‘Hey, how are you? How’s your day going?’”

“All of my customers became more like family because they appreciated the fact that I got to know them on a different level, and I was going to have their drink ready, and I genuinely cared about their wellbeing and about their family…My passion wasn’t for the coffee and for the business, my passion was for the people.”

“As a mom, as a store manager—I have a job to do. And I have people watching me and counting on me. So I try to remain positive everyday.”


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Erica’s book, Bring Your Human to Work

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