Quick-Thinking Starbucks Baristas Protect Teen Girl From Older Man With Secret Note On Cup

This was quick thinking by these Starbucks employees.

Coffee cup with message at Starbucks Facebook / Wachiwit / Shutterstock.com

A mother in Corpus Christi, Texas, thanked local Starbucks employees for looking out for her daughter while she was studying inside the coffee shop and thought she needed their help.

Brandy Selim Roberson posted on Facebook retelling the incident that had occurred — where her 18-year-old daughter had gone into the store to study but was approached by an older man.

A quick-thinking Starbucks baristas sent a message written on a cup to offer the teen help.

A female barista came up to the high school senior and handed her a paper coffee cup, claiming that it was “an extra hot chocolate someone forgot to pick up.”


But on the cup, there was a message written in sharpie for the girl to read and respond to.

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The message read: “Are you okay? Do you want us to intervene? If you do, take the lid off the cup.”


When the teenage girl read the message and looked up, she had realized that all of the Starbucks employees in the store were staring at her.

“She looked up and just saw a row of baristas staring at her — ready to step in,” said Roberson.

According to a report from KIII News, the man noticed what was going on when she signaled to the workers that she was okay, and repeatedly asked everyone, “What?” before the situation eventually de-escalated and the teenager was left alone.

Roberson’s post on Facebook went viral, receiving thousands of shares and tens of thousands of likes, causing the mother to eventually put her page on private to protect her daughter’s anonymity and detract attention from their family.


She spoke with TODAY Food about the incident in an email, saying that “She wanted to get out of the house and go sit and study somewhere. She likes to go study at coffee shops.”

The teenager was at Starbucks alone but thankfully, the baristas were looking out for her.

"She was sitting at her table alone studying and this man came by and noticed what she was studying and wanted to talk to her about it," Roberson said.

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"He, I think, just kind of became really loud and animated about it," Roberson said.

The workers knew that she had entered the store alone, and started to feel like something was wrong when he got loud and animated about it, causing them to take some sort of initiative to make sure that she was okay.


Fortunately, she did feel safe, and didn’t remove the lid, but the act of kindness was something that stuck with her and her mother and will likely stick with them for a while.

"She was holding the cup and knew that I would love that someone did that for her," Roberson wrote in the email.

"It made me feel so grateful that the Starbucks employees were watching out for her. As a mom, that is my worst fear that something would happen to my child and nobody would be there to help."


She mentioned that she hopes other stores train their employees in a similar fashion, and implores everyone to speak up if they see something amiss.

"I am incredibly grateful to the staff there. I hope that we can all learn from them and be willing to help anyone who seems that they might need help," she said.

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Isaac Serna-Diez is a writer who focuses on entertainment and news, social justice, and politics. Follow him on Twitter here.