Customer Complaining About Breastfeeding Gets Owned By Starbucks Barista

Breastfeeding in public is perfectly legal in Ontario, so Canadian mom Julia Wykes never thought she’d hear someone complain about seeing her nurse her baby. However at one Starbucks, a customer decided to prove her wrong.
It was early in the morning and Julia was waiting for a drink with her 5-month-old. She was going to just get the drink and go, but when her little boy became fussy, she decided to sit down for a few minutes so she could feed him. Because the coffee shop was crowded, she had to choose a seat near the cash register.

Seemingly out of nowhere, a customer walked up to the counter with a complaint – about Julia. The customer said:

“Could you get that woman to stop doing that in public?” [source]

Julia recounts the story:

“She said in a very loud voice (I was obviously meant to hear), ‘Could you get that woman to stop doing that in public? It is disgusting.'” [source]

The barista looked over at Julia and assured the woman that he would take care of it. Hearing this, Julia began to prepare herself for an argument. Julia was in shock that this was even happening.

“Not just about the fact that breastfeeding is a legally protected right in Ontario, but also that surely a nursing mom is better than a screaming baby!”  [source]

What happened next surprised her. The barista, a young man of approximately 18 years old, approached Julia. Instead of telling her to leave, retreat to the bathroom or cover up, he approached her with a smile and offered her a free refill. He also gave her a voucher for a free drink on her next visit, apologizing for the unpleasant customer. All of this was done right in front of the complaining customer, who left in a hurry upon witnessing this.

Julia was stunned and thrilled by the turn of events. She shared her story with Starbucks and a friend from her local parenting group, who happens to run the very popular PhD in Parenting website and Facebook page.

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Julia is glad that the young barista is getting some recognition. She says:

“At first I was flabbergasted by the woman’s response to public breastfeeding. To have a young man be more kind and informed than a middle-aged woman who may have had children herself was a shock. And while it may be a huge multinational company, I am glad that such a positive experience occurred in a Starbucks, it shows that they employ good people.” [source]

Julia is aware that public breastfeeding stories don’t always end on a positive note. She hopes that by sharing her story, it will encourage other women to keep doing what they feel is right for them and their babies regardless of what others say.

“I just hope that experiences like this can show women that nursing in public is normal. If you are hungry when you’re running errands, you eat. Why should we think that our babies are any different?” [source]

Bravo, Starbucks.