Cienna Madrid

Your store sign has the silhouette of a sweep boat on it. What's your relationship with crew, and do you strictly employ hot crew members in tight spandex to serve me coffee?

No, sorry to disappoint. The sign is left over from the last owner. I assume she had some connection to crew, but who knows. My staff is mostly college students. I interpret it to mean that my staff works like a crew—together. Plus, we open at 5:30 a.m., which is the witching hour for crew.

If you have no history with crew, what's your history with coffee?

My history is more as a baker than anything. A few years ago, I went back to school for baking, and then held a succession of jobs as a baker at Northwest Catering, Grand Central Baking, and Fran's Chocolates. I wanted to go into business for myself, but I didn't want to own a bakery, so I wound up here, where I get to bake scones, muffins, coffeecakes, and cookies my way.

What's your way?

From the recipe, but adapted how I like them.

How was the transition moving from the kitchen to the counter?

I like it much more than I thought. Our customers are great people, and most of them are regulars.

What's the best advice you've ever given a customer or an employee?

I don't give advice. I like to keep a neutral front. My best advice is to stay away from giving advice or talking politics. We have some interesting liberal and conservative pockets around here, so I just keep my nose out of everyone's business.