An 18-year-old has reunited with the Starbucks barista who helped him mom give birth in the coffee shop restroom in 2002.
Jonathan Celner was born at the Starbucks in Wilmette, Illinois. Griffin Baron was working as the shift manager on Aug. 20, nearly 18 years ago, when Celner’s mother, Lisabeth Rohlck, unexpectedly delivered her child.
Baron, a Chicago-resident, told “Good Morning America” that he sold Rohlck a bottle of water before she headed to the women’s bathroom.
“I just heard these high-pitched screams,” Baron recalled, adding that a customer instructed him to call 911. “I’m 21. I know nothing about delivering babies. All I knew was you get hot towels, because that’s what you see in movies. I opened the bathroom door, and I see a customer huffing and puffing and a baby is coming out.”
Baron said that Celner was born 4 minutes later. EMTs soon arrived and took Celner and his mother away.
Baron said he and Rohlck, a mother of two, were soon centered in a media frenzy, with local and national news outlets requesting interviews in hopes to cover the story behind the Starbucks baby.
Baron, now 39, said Rohlck never returned to the Starbucks, though he always wondered what came of the mom and her baby boy.
“I thought about him constantly,” Baron said. “What type of person he turned out to be, if he was a funny little kid …”
Baron said he did an online search of Rohlck and learned that in 2012, she died from complications of breast cancer. Baron also learned that Rohlck’s husband, Thomas Celner, died in 2020 after seeing a GoFundMe page with the family’s names attached.
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“I left a comment, ‘I’m the barista that was there when Jonathan was born, and I would love to be able to talk to him,'” Baron said he wrote on the page.
Baron connected with Celner’s aunt and later found the teen on Facebook.
On March 21, Celner and Baron met for coffee at the Starbucks location where Celner was born.
Celner is now working for UPS and attending community college.
“The story always reminded me of my mom, which I really enjoy, “Celner told “GMA,” adding that his mom was an amazing, tough person who enjoyed acting.
“She would always tell me the story and would say how insane those next few weeks were for her — just a total media circus,” he added. “When Griffin [Baron] reached out, it came full circle, which was cool.”
Celner said he sometimes scores a free drink on his birthday whenever her shares his tale with a Starbucks barista.
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