Melissa - For the first 7 years of business Melissa was the only person allowed behind the espresso machine. As the part-owner of the store with husband Neil, Melissa set the standard for the product that aLatte serves. Every drink on the board, every local favorite and every dreamy concoction was realized by Melissa. After owning a successful tobacco store in the Outer Banks for many years, Melissa had the experience, forethought and drive to turn an idea into a 12 year old thriving business which has become a staple in Downtown Norfolk. Melissa is a force of a woman who is truly the backbone of the aLatte Family.
Neil - With an expansive background in graphic design, branding, and business, Neil Sanders functions as the rock on which aLatte Cafe stands. Neil is the man behind the counter, the coffee roaster, the copy writer and the driving force behind the store. Standing at 5'10" with his signature red hair tied up in a bun, Neil is the smile that greets you at the door, the hand that pulls your espresso shot and the person who has a beautiful and unique relationship with every single person who comes into the store. To know Neil is to love him, and as part-owner of the store he is as much of a staple on Granby as the store is.
Bodie - New to the aLatte family is Bodie Devarian Hidalgo Sanders. The son of Neil and Melissa he is the heir to the store and the baby of the family. He can be seen sitting on hips, drinking decaf lattes and filling the shop with his infectious laughter. Always incredibly fashionable and adorable, Bodie is the newest addition to the store. If you’re lucky, your morning cup of Joe will co-inside with a Bodie appearance and you’ll be able to see what pure happiness looks like.
Taylor - As a graduate of the Governor’s School for the Arts Musical Theatre department, aLatte has always been a second home to Taylor. After living in New York City for the last 4 years, Taylor came back to the area for a year and started picking up shifts at the shop. Taylor is a ball of energy with a kind of warmth about her that can light up a room. Her personable nature and open and free energy has made her a staple at the shop. Very active in the theatre community in the area it’s not uncommon to see her performing around the entire 757. Taylor can be seen running around, making tuna salad and always trying to turn up the music in the back of the shop while Neil is at the grocery store.
Kelly - Kelly is our enigmatic free-spirit. She has a thriving small business herself, Nomad Malas, and is always seen with her signature pixie haircut and a homemade Mala around her neck. Kelly is detail-oriented, focused and incredibly personable. It is not uncommon to find yourself in a 15 minute conversation with Kelly at the coffee bar while she whips up your vanilla latte. She’s the kind of energy who makes you want to pull up a chair and stay a while.
Christian - Christian is an aspiring nursing student at Old Dominion University and an avid photographer. He is certainly the quiet comic relief of the store. Always in overalls and striped t-shirts you can count on Christian for a belly laugh and a sweet hug. He is selfless and kind and the sort of employee who bought all of our regulars Christmas presents this year.You can find Christian longboarding around downtown Norfolk with his camera around his neck and a slice of Benny’s cheese pizza in his hand.
Stella - If you’ve been coming to aLatte for a while, you’ve more than likely seen Stella playing the piano at the store. Ever since she was young, Stella has been filling the shop with her beautiful music, which is why it is so special that she has made her way behind the counter. A ridiculously hard worker, Stella has made a beautiful transition from loved customer to integral employee. Stop in and see Stellas magnetic smile, and maybe if you’re lucky, she’ll play something for you!
Cheyanne - Cheyanne is the newest addition to the aLatte family. She is studying film at Old Dominion University and works part- time at the store. Cheyanne is radiant and hilarious. Whenever she works she brings in a fresh and energetic vibe to the entire shop. The only part- time employee, she can seem somewhat of a rare sighting at aLatte, but if you do get to see Cheyanne you will leave with a huge smile on your face and perfectly steamed latte in your hands.
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