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Local businesses connect with customers

By Caitlin Quach and Priscilla Soria

Staff Writers

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Joanna Ramirez, Safeway Checker

Joanna Ramirez is a checker at the Safeway in downtown San Jose. During her time at Safeway, Ms. Ramirez has been able to create a “little family” with her regulars.

Some people who contribute to her community are the locals or the regulars that usually come into the store. The regulars are able to create this “little family” relationship by forming a close bond between employees and locals.

“You want to go to a store where you know people and they treat you well, so knowing them and treating them like you want to be treated makes a big difference,” Ms. Ramirez said.

Brandon Tierrita, Starbucks Barista

Brandon Tierrita works as a Starbucks barista in downtown San Jose. He believes that Starbucks is a place that satisfies everyone, whether it’s to chill or to study.

He feels that Starbucks affects the community because there are community members who don’t have homes and Starbucks is their home. Furthermore, he feels that the government is helping to some degree, but ultimately there could be more progress. When it comes to describing the community, he says that it’s underprivileged and less appreciated and open to potential.  

“It’s a low-income community, so everybody should stick together … if we just help each other … It would do wonders,” Mr. Tierrita said. 

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Jeff Frank, University Access Service Coordinator

Jeff Frank is part of the San Jose State University and Martin Luther King Jr. Library in downtown San Jose. He works as a University Access Service Coordinator in the Martin Luther King Jr. Library. Although Mr. Frank lives in Morgan Hill, he is able to still give his insight on the community in downtown San Jose.

“There is staff at San Jose University that works more directly with the community by providing library orientations and getting the word out to let people know the library can assist community members through their learning for incoming students and other departments.”

Some of the people who are part of his community are the students and faculty of San Jose State University. One of the ways that Mr. Frank feels that the library is able to contribute to the community is the fact that they’re able to provide a space for anyone who might need a space or any assistance with their work.

Regarding the issue of having a strong connection between employees and locals, the three people that we had interviewed all had similar thoughts. Ms. Ramirez, Mr. Tierrita and Mr. Frank felt that they all are able to recognize their locals when they come into their businesses. This recognition contributes to the overall relationship between them and their customers. With these relationships through these businesses, there is more of a sense of a strong community between everyone.

Here is a StoryMap of all the places mentioned in this article.

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