April 20, 2014 by
Photography by Bill Sitzmann

Is there some state law dictating that baristas must be among the most interesting people on the planet?

When not slinging brew at Blue Line Coffee in Dundee, Rachel Tomlinson Dick can be found on stage at The Waiting Room, Slowdown, and other indie-fueled venues. She plays in the Omaha band Hers and with the Portland-based Manic Pixie Dream Girls. The 27-year-old also volunteers with Omaha Girls Rock, teaching guitar riffs accompanied by a steady backbeat of girl-power mentoring and advocacy. That’s when she’s not working as an apprentice stitcher with Artifact Bag Co., the local outfit known for the finest craftsmanship in waxed canvas and leather goods.

“I would never survive in the cubicle world,” she says. “Tried it for awhile. Time moved too slowly. I need to be more active,” she adds while simultaneously juggling beans, bran, and bagels. “Most baristas are really creative types, and half the fun of being here is the interaction with people who are motivated by their outside work in the arts, culture, and more.”

And as for the other half? That would be the people on the other side of the counter, she says. “I open the shop on many mornings, and that means I get to help people begin their day,” she says. “It’s early. They’re just starting out, not sure which way the day is going to go. Good? Maybe not so much? I get to give them something that is seemingly so small and insignificant, but coffee makes people happy!” 

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