Since starting as a barista in March 2023, Gianmarco Caroli has become a staple of Sidgwick site Anuk Weerawardana for Varsity

When did you start working on Sidgwick?

I started in March 2023, back when I was still finishing my undergraduate degree. I began part-time, balancing my studies and work. Now, I’m working full-time while looking for a job related to my field of study. So if you need someone who’s an expert at multitasking and making great coffee, I’m your person!

Have you always lived in Cambridge?

I always lose the ‘Guess My Accent’ game because of my unmistakably strong Italian accent. I grew up and spent most of my life in Italy. Then I decided to move far from home to the UK to shake things up and step out of my comfort zone. Leaving Italy wasn’t easy – I mean, have you tried the pasta there? But it’s been totally worth it for the growth and the adventure. Plus, I get to dazzle people with my accent daily!

“Everyone has a story to tell, and I love hearing them while I prepare a cup of coffee full of love”

How have you found working in the Buttery? How are the students?

I’m grateful to have ended up here! Working in the Buttery gives me the chance to socialise with so many brilliant minds. Everyone has a story to tell, and I love hearing them while I prepare a cup of coffee full of love. It’s amazing how much you can learn even in a simple job like being a barista. Who knew serving coffee could be such an education?

Have you ever had a really bad experience with a student?

Once, a colleague asked a lecturer if he was a student (we do this to see if they qualify for the student discount). The lecturer didn’t take it well and felt quite disrespected. But hey, we are just trying to avoid making assumptions! Plus, who wouldn’t want to be mistaken for being younger, right? It’s a delicate balance, but we try to handle it with a smile and a bit of humour.

Have you heard of the ‘sidge girlie’ stereotype, and do you think this is true?

Yeah, I think they’ve heard about the ‘sidge girlie’ stereotype even on the moon! From an Italian point of view, I can tell you they have an excellent taste in creating their outfits – they’re very creative, so well done to them! But here’s the funny part: while it’s an effort to be unique, it often ends up looking like everyone else in that category. It’s curious, isn’t it?

“Honestly, I think my accent does half the work for me”

You’re known for being very friendly in the Buttery, maybe even a little flirty. Have you heard this and does it surprise you?

It’s not the first time I’ve heard that! I guess my friendly nature and sociable personality can sometimes be mistaken for flirting. I’ve always been warm and approachable (cit: “Mom”). Honestly, I think my accent does half the work for me. I could be talking about the weather, and it would still sound charming, so, if I come across as flirty, it’s all in good spirit!

Would you ever go on a date with a student?

Sorry, right now I am focusing on making the perfect cup of coffee!

What’s the atmosphere in the Buttery like?

Lively and social. It’s a job that might seem repetitive at first glance, but the interactions with customers keep it exciting and dynamic. Every conversation with a customer adds a unique element to the day, making it feel less monotonous and more energising than a cup of coffee.

Who’s on aux?

I’m in charge, but my colleagues also contribute. We understand that students need a break from studying when they come to the café. I love seeing big smiles when their favourite tunes come on – it’s a small joy that makes my day.


Mountain View

Talking soup with Soupycamb

Which is better, the Arc or the Buttery?

Both cafés are great (and I’m not just saying that because my managers might read this). But today, I’m feeling competitive, so I’ll say the Buttery wins.

What are your plans for the future?

Become famous, a millionaire, and retire at 30 to Hawaii. Jokes aside, I just finished my degree BSc (Hons) in Psychology and I’m currently volunteering with Samaritans, a mental health charity. I’ll probably go back to studying soon to become a psychotherapist. But who knows, maybe one day I’ll open my own café!