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Feeding Tampa Bay's new barista training program perks up job prospects

Blind Tiger Coffee hosts class at Bullard Academy
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Posted at 3:14 AM, Aug 09, 2021
and last updated 2021-08-09 08:11:50-04

TAMPA, Fla. — Tammy from Tampa wants to be the best barista around.

"Oh, I love coffee," she says. "I'm so ready for this!"

Tammy is part of an inaugural class of trainees at Feeding Tampa Bay's new barista training course.

It's part of the nonprofit's successful FreshForce training program that helps boost job prospects for people with barriers to employment.

"Our programs are all about getting people out of the food (pantry) lines," says FTB's Mike Perkins.

Barista training is hosted by Blind Tiger Coffee Roasters at the Bullard Academy, the new learning center at Tampa's Sligh Middle School.

The Bullard Academy was created by Thaddeus Bullard aka WWE star Titus O'Neil.

The barista training course is one week long. Graduates are paid a stipend of $500 for completing the course. Must be 18 and older to apply.

Blind Tiger president Robert Torres says baristas can make up up to $20 an hour with tips.

For more on FTB's FreshForce program and barista training, click here.