“Constructing Social Spaces: Coffee, Food and Alcohol” By Alex Bernson, Sprudge

In his talk, Alex Berson of Sprudge.com, will talk about social roles as a major part of the service experience. There are different patterns depending on whether you work with food, coffee or alcohol. For example, a barista being physically constrained behind an espresso machine. How can we as an industry improve how we interact with our guests? Alex takes us back to the first coffee-shops in the early 17th century and shows us the development of cafés up to now.

“You are born naked and the rest is drag” –Ru Paul

“You can be completely alone in a room of 1000 people or be on an empty street corner tweeting out to 1000’s of people.”

Alex Bernson fell in love with cafes at Espresso Vivace, where he started his coffee career in 2006. He has since made coffee in just about every retail setting, from farmer’s market stands to busy Manhattan bars to high end restaurant/cafes, to Espwesso, the student-run cafe he founded at Wesleyan University. He  managed Sweetleaf Coffee’s Hunter’s Point location in New York City, and is currently associate editor for Sprudge. Alex’s overriding passion is the unique social roles cafes fill in their communities. In 2011, he graduated from Wesleyan University with a multi-disciplinary degree in Feminist & Queer Theory focused Urban Sociology, after completing an honors thesis entitled “The Social Space of The Café: How Service and Physical Design Condition Social Performances”.