Each and every one of us has an interesting life story. That being true, I realize I could spend my lifetime trying to tell all these stories without ever leaving Starbucks.
Todays story starts with the word Pariskevopoulos. Pariskevopoulos is an original pre-America last name from Greece. It is the family name of my Starbucks friend, Kayden Paris. His full name originally would have been Justin Kayden Pariskevopoulos, had it not been for the impact of influential circumstances. His name is constantly being reshaped by societal events. For most of his life he went by his first name, Justin. That changed when he joined the Starbucks team. There were already three Justins working 100th Street Starbucks. A fourth Justin was just too much. Justin decided to use his middle name, Kayden.
Kayden’s grandfather, who fought on our side during WWI, wanted his Greek name to sound more American and if you will permit me to make a casual observation, I do believe Grandpa Pariskevopoulos was successful in his Americanization effort when he changed Pariskevopolos to Paris.
My conversation with Kayden began primarily because his photography is currently featured on the Starbucks Community Art Wall of our newly remodeled Starbucks inside the Lakewood Towne Center located at 6040 Main St SW, Lakewood, Washington.
Kayden is a young and energetic barista. He moves at twice the speed of light or at least he moves faster than any human being I have ever watched working with espresso. I have confirmed that Kayden does not have an espresso IV (intravenous drip feed) hooked to his arm. His family core value is, “Hard work will move you forward in life.” Sit down with a cup of tasty beverage and watch Kayden work. You will be amazed at his lightning speed.
Kayden, who graduated from Graham Kapowsin High School, chose to not attend college. He did not think he was ready for college and chose to not waste tuition dollars. After five years of working, he is now ready to start college. He plans to take advantage of the Starbucks Employee College Tuition Reimbursement Program. He feels his life experience will help jump start his college career.
While Kayden is good with numbers, he really prefers working with people. He wants to be more Joe Boyle like by majoring in business with a focus in customer service.
Kayden started with Starbucks on 100th St SW in Lakewood and worked there until the store closed in 2012. He loved his Starbucks store and was very sad when it closed. He especially enjoyed the friendly culture of his regular customers.
One of his favorite customers was Mr. Garner Thomas, who I wrote about a few months ago. Kayden is inspired by how Garner Thomas lives his life.
Starbucks is much like the neighborhood on the TV show, Cheers. Everybody knows your name.
When Kayden was 10 years old his father had a darkroom in his grandfather’s shed, which was only five doors down the street from Kaden’s’ family home. Kayden was fascinated with photography. His first camera was a Cannon SLR. Kayden now uses a Cannon Rebel ITI DSLR Digital.
During high school, Kayden excelled during a one year photography course. He continues to read photography books and studies the work of accomplished photographers such as Ansel Adams.
In 2010 Kayden had some of his photos featured in an Ocean Shores Art exhibit. In addition to winning a photography award, a few of his works were snapped up by the art buying public.
Kayden is passionate about life and his connection to other human beings. Blessed with a highly developed set of observation skills, Kayden uses his camera to capture that which others might fail to see, such as the shadow of a table leg or the beauty of a doorknob.
Appreciating each day of life is a strong focus for Kayden. He has the same intensity for appreciating people in a world that often takes people for granted.
Stop by Starbucks and meet Kayden and while you are there, check out his photography on the art wall.
Kayden is a friend worth making and a friend worth keeping.
If you would like to own any of his photos, they are available for purchase ranging from $25 — $250 including fully framed and matted pieces.
I have included a few samples of his work for your pleasure.