Terrance Ross is Chatham County’s best-known barista. A native of Queens, New York, he’s worked at Buzz Café at Chatham Marketplace for about three years and at Sweet Bee Café for the last six months. Ross is well-studied: he’s taken classes from the Art Institute of Washington, Durham Tech and Harvard’s online college. He lives in Chatham County with his cat, Eek.
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ABOUT: Terrance Ross is Chatham County’s best-known barista. A native of Queens, New York, he’s worked at Buzz Café at Chatham Marketplace for about three years and at Sweet Bee Café for the last six months. Ross is well-studied: he’s taken classes from the Art Institute of Washington, Durham Tech and Harvard’s online college. He lives in Chatham County with his cat, Eek.
What’s unique about what you do for a living?
It’s like bartending, having to know your drink mixes and flavor profiles — only I don’t get yelled at anymore for cutting people off when they had too much.
What was your first paying job, and what did it teach you?
Domino’s Pizza back in 1993. I was 13 and learned that working hard and earning a paycheck was much easier then begging my parents for stuff, plus it made me feel like a big man.
What part of your job would most surprise people?
How many different drink combinations you can create with simple ingredients. I feel like a mad scientist sometimes trying to come up with special drinks.
What advice would you give someone considering doing the same line of work as you?
Practice makes perfect! It took me a week just to get my foaming from bad to OK’ish.
Who is your personal hero?
Comedian Mitch Hedberg.
Your standard order at a coffee shop?
White chocolate mocha or a steamer.
Your ultimate “happy place?”
Band practice or playing a show.
Coke or Pepsi?
Which do you like better: starting or finishing?
Finishing because I love feeling the sense of accomplishment.
When will robots take over the world?
I’m working on it! I’ve locked 20 Furbies in a room with an Alexa and an Echo, so only time will tell.
Life on other planets? Yes or no?
Yes, they’re probably laughing at us! I know when I slipped down the stairs the other morning it was pretty funny!
Stay up late or get up early?
I get about two hours sleep a night, soooo...both?!?!
On a snow day, you’d stay home and binge-watch:
UHF, Tank Girl, Green Street Hoolagans, Life of Brian, Falling Down, Better Off Dead, The Wraith, Disc World, Time Bandits and, to top it off, Gleaming the Cube.
Dogs or cats?
Cats rule! And dogs don’t rule as much but they’re OK!
Favorite N.C. celebrity?
Ever danced in the rain?
Yes. I was walking home from middle school listening to my Walkman and the song “Two Princes” by the Spin Doctors came on so I had to! It’s the happiest song on Earth!
What is the most significant of your life’s goals that you haven’t yet accomplished?
Helping the robots take over the world.
What makes your home special?
My roommate Jina and the four fur babies.
The trait you most deplore in yourself:
I tend to put others before myself and I have a hard time saying “no” sometimes.
The book you’re currently reading:
“Fragments of Horror,” by Junji Ito.
Your favorite movie of all time:
One day, when you have time, what would you like to learn how to do?
What do you plan to do after retirement?
Yell at kids to get off the lawn.
What’s your favorite snack food?
A fear you haven’t yet overcome is:
Talking to random people in public.
Something not many people know you collect is?
Vinyl records, POP figures.
If you could eliminate any invention, what would it be?
If you started a business of your own, what would it be?
The most famous person you’ve ever met:
Henry Rollins. I almost got hit by a car running across the street to shake his hand. He thought it was funny, so that was cool. But man that guy is intense!
If someone made a movie about your life, the actor to portray you is:
Favorite city in the whole world:
New York, mainly because i was born and raised there.
What you like best (or least) about where you live now:
I need a car to get anywhere.
The one material possession you can’t live without is:
My bass guitar.
The credo or motto you like to try to live by:
The best advice you ever got was:
Who let you in here???!
What’s the wildest or most interesting single thing that’s ever happened to you?
I got to hang out with Fishbone in Baltimore.
What is your favorite book?
World War Z
Where would someone be most likely to find you on a Saturday night?
What was your dream job when you were a child?
I wanted to be a pro skateboarder.
What would be your last meal?
A hand full of salt packets or Pez.
What would you like to know about the future?
Will I ever look my age?
Do you have a tattoo?
Did you have a childhood nickname?
Biggest pet peeve?
People who eat with their mouth open.
What’s your usual wake-up time in the morning?
Ever seen a ghost?
What superhero power would you most like to have?
I would like the power to see through wooden doors.
What was your favorite TV show when you were growing up?
“The Benny Hill Show” and Bob Ross’ painting show.
Favorite band or musical artist?
If you could never hear the music of one musical artist ever again, which would it be?
Cardi B. I listened to 30 seconds and felt my brain cells off themselves one by one.
If you could create one rule that all society had to live by, what would it be?
Stop making dumb people famous
A last word?
I would like to give a very important shout-out to all the people who died figuring out what plants we can and can’t eat!