Starbucks supervisor brings laughs, lattes to students

Gina Ronci is not your average clock-watching Starbucks employee—the on-campus supervisor of Starbucks has a passion for customer service that students notice. “I guess it’s just self-gratification through others,” Ronci said. She explained that she enjoys her job with Campus Auxiliary Services. “I feel sometimes like I’m the campus mom.”

Brought up in Orange County, New York, Ronci’s life drastically changed at 16 when her family relocated to Palm Beach, Florida. She moved back to New York after getting married but said that she misses the “blue skies” and tries to vacation there twice a year.

Now a Dansville resident with her husband and two teenage children, Ronci has been with Starbucks at CAS since January 2014. This is not where she imagined her career would lead, however.

“When I went into the workforce, I was in the banking industry and what I call the ‘cube world,’” Ronci said. She did customer service work at a desk, but loved baking for fun in her free time.

She eventually switched from office work to food services, saying, “I went into the food thing because what better way to please somebody than to keep them fed?” Ronci worked for CAS at Starbucks, Uncle Vito’s and the Chowhound.

“In a ‘cube world,’ you have customer service, but not that face-to-face [interaction],” Ronci explained about her shift to CAS. “It was a huge change, but I got into it.”

After graduating from Genesee Community College with an associate degree in hospitality and tourism and business administration, she took a break from CAS and decided to try a foray into small business ownership, opening a bakery called Tasty Too.

“I just started baking and fell in love with it,” Ronci said. The bakery did not last, but she still gets questions about it around town. Ronci said she has no regrets looking back at the experience because of the people she got to work with along the way.

“Everything happens for a reason and you have to enjoy where you’re at now,” she said.

In her free time, Ronci is a self-proclaimed “bookworm,” who loves reading both novels and magazines. She is also an animal lover—the proud owner of four cats and fish—and an amazing chef; matzo ball chicken soup is her specialty.

She also greatly values her family and every minute she gets to spend with them, especially her son and daughter who are currently enrolled locally at GCC.

“You want them to go, but you want them to be careful,” she said about her children, ages 18 and 19. Even though they live at home, she jokingly diagnoses herself with “empty nest syndrome.”

Every Sunday, however, Ronci’s family comes together to watch football. Her brother lives six minutes away and brings his preteen children with him for this classic western New York tradition.

“My siblings are both my best friends,” Ronci said. She FaceTimes her younger sister in Palm Beach without fail every Monday.

“They will drive you crazy like no one else, but at the end of the day, there is no one that loves you more than your family,” she said.