Laila Ghambari (center), Phil Beattie of Dillanos (left) and Emilio Lopez Diaz (right). Photo courtesy of Sprudge.com
Laila Ghambari practically grew up in the barista business.
Her father, Ali Ghambari, opened the Cherry Street Coffee House when she was a child, and her first jobs were working in his cafes.
It wasn’t until she left Cherry Street to pull shots elsewhere that she started competing in barista championships. But it wasn’t until she came back to Cherry Street as its Director of Coffee that she won her biggest honor yet: Ghambari, 26, was named the 2014 United States Barista Champion at the Specialty Coffee Association of America competitions over the weekend. She had won the Northwest title in February, and she’ll represent the United States at the World Barista Championships in Italy in June.