Runner-up: Chloe Cox-Brown, The Rusty Cup, Astoria

Honorable mention: Melissa Cutting, ROOTS Juice, Java, and Salad Bar, Ilwaco, Wash.

Even seven years of winning Best Barista, Kristy Cross, owner of The Rusty Cup in Astoria, can’t put her finger on the secret to her success.

“I really don’t do anything out of the ordinary,” Cross laughed.

Perhaps it’s her relationship with customers, whom she was serving and greeting by name while she considered the question. One customer sitting in the shop offered that it was because she is good at “keeping them in line.”

Whatever the reason, it’s an honor she takes seriously. “I’m excited, because there’s a lot of talent out there,” she said.

Cross opened the shop on Commercial Street in May 2004, and ever since has worked to cultivate a “family feel.” In addition to its reputation for a good cup of coffee, the shop also offers soups, wraps, sandwiches and baked goods.

“I really do love this job. It’s like you get to hang out with your friends all day long,” Cross said. “I really am grateful.”

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