Meet Julia Minayeva from SONDER Coffee & Tea in Denver, CO

Name and Role: Julia Minayeva, Barista and Co-Owner

Experience: 3+ years exploring coffee and opening a shop

Julia Minayeva, Barista and Co-Owner of SONDER Coffee & Tea

Something you’ve found rewarding about opening Sonder: …community and people… kind of like hosting in your home, but on a bigger scale… creating a comfortable place where people could come no matter where they are at in life, feel like they belong, feel like they could be heard or seen at least for a little point in the day.

Three things about Sonder: Atmosphere, putting value in that, customer service, treating people with value, and so you have to have value in your coffee too.

Something on the menu that you are proud of: We don’t like things that are just excessive, we like really simplified things so that’s why our menu has a lot of things that we make ourselves…We make all of our syrups in-house. We ‘re really inspired by herbs, fruits and spices that are in season and like I said we had no idea that we would in the beginning, but now we are realizing that using real ingredients like lavender or rosemary are actually good for your body and your mind…for instance, the rose. Rose helps with depression and women’s health. And so when we were serving it, in the springtime, people were like “this latte made me feel really good!” and we were like, dude that is so cool how a syrup that we can make can actually help people’s bodies and minds.


What are some of your responsibilities on the ownership side: Our staffing. That’s kind of my role as well. human resources/admin stuff. Its been something, doing interviews for the first time and coming up with training and all of these things that didn’t exist before. It’s challenging but kind of cool to take part in, building the foundation of our team and knowing that I have no idea what the future holds but its cool to see that what we do now lays the foundation for the future and what team comes in the future.

Julia loves developing syrups and drinks inspired by seasonal and local ingredients

What does “team” mean to you: I just get touched when I’m like, this could really matter in people’s lives. You know? We can build a team that’s inspired to go into coffee. inspired to change lives, or making coffee really enriches them as a person, I dont know, its really cool to me and so I take that seriously, my role in building a team . Its intimidating but I find it very purposeful.

Pearls of Wisdom: We really do try to come to that reality that we might not be for everyone, not everyone will like you. And when you take a stand its very much, not everyone will like you. And people have walked out because we don’t have whipped cream or frappuccinos but that’s okay because the people who do like our menu will come…. I really want to encourage even our customers to see that 5 mile radius, 10, whatever, as a really coffee community…and although a customer will be offended that we don’t want them or something, its really not from that, its like if you like coffee, we want to connect you to coffee that you like…

Check out Julia’s website Dream a Latte for more about SONDER’s journey


Shout outs!!! Our customers and community for sure, for just understanding us and supporting us. We love serving them and it’s great to know people and get to know people one on one, more and more. It’s really inspiring… the coffee community, that we are just really happy to be a part of… Sweet Bloom and other roasters that are inspiring because they stick to what they believe in in coffee and continue to create delicious things and they just look for that one person at a time. They continue that inspiration forward because they love what they do.

Dream A Latte:
SONDER Coffee & Tea Website