This is Barb Sellers. At 85, she just may be the oldest American barista working today.
Barb owns Divine Mocha, a business she's run for 15 years in a lovely old building on Fairview Creek - the old general store on 223rd Avenue at the edge of the Historic Fairview district. It used to be called the "Little Red Store" for the paint job. Now it's white, and the big front window is painted with an angel and a Bible. There's a cross over the front door.
It's Divine Mocha because Barb loves the Lord.
Barb credits the Lord for the good in her life, especially her ability to trust. She'll get to the sweet hereafter, and she knows she'll make it through the "nasty now and now" with His help. She wakes at about 5 every day to grocery shop at Winco then come back to open the store at 7 am. It closes at 5. She does this every day but Sunday. She also owns a real estate business with her son, Tim. It's in the same building, so the sign out front advertises both "Espresso" and "Real Estate."
Her life has not been easy. Her second husband had a series of debilitating strokes, and she cared for him at home for years, until he died in 2005, right after she opened Divine Mocha. She adopted three of her grandchildren and is taking care of three great-children, all under the age of five. Barb loves what she does - especially her customers. They take care of one another, providing a teasing joke or a kind word when they need it.
"I'm an encourager," she says.
I met Barb when I was out dropping fliers east of 223rd yesterday. I stopped in to get a coffee before I stepped out, and got her remarkable story, along with a retelling of the story of David and Goliath, some town history, and other good conversation.
What a joy to meet a woman of such strength and kindness. And such history. She graduated from Gresham High School in 1935! What stories she must have. I plan to return to hear more, and get another Americano, to support this local business and this local legend. As she says to all her customers, blessings to you, Barb.