Behind the Barista: Dee Dee McEntire


Addison Greene

Dee Dee preparing a drink at Roasted.

Addison Greene, [email protected], Arts & Features Writer

The sunlight shines bright through the large windows  at the front of Highsmith Student  Union, but that’s not the only light students catch warmth from. 

At the front of Highsmith is what seems to be any old on-campus coffee shop run by another set  of dining staff just here for a paycheck, but Dee Dee McEntire is there for more than just the  money. 

McEntire said she’s been with UNC Asheville for 17 years and said her favorite part of the job is the students she sees everyday. When asked about her preferred drink, McEntire said the white mocha was her favorite. 

“I’m from Buffalo, New York. That’s where I was born and raised, then I moved to Forest City, North Carolina when I was 17. I moved to Asheville in 2003,” McEntire said. 

She said all of her family still live in Forest City with the exception of her mother who lives in Lake Lure, North Carolina

“I came to Asheville for recovery. It’s 18 years later and I’m still doing great,” McEntire said. “I  went to treatment in Gastonia and from there I came here. Early on, I was going to meetings  every single day. I only surrounded myself with people in recovery and that’s how I stayed clean,  and now all these years later, I just live my life,” McEntire said. 

McEntire said she was forced to move to North Carolina while she was still a minor because her  mother came back here to be with family, but drug addiction wouldn’t keep her from living her  best life. 

“I can’t stop people from using, but I can stop myself from being around it,” McEntire said. “I  have to know my limits and what I can do or what I’m comfortable with, like controlling who  I’m around,” McEntire said. 

She said she has many regulars and looks forward to seeing them daily. She said the majority of students and professors are pleasant and she enjoys the interactions she has with them. 

“Most of them come everyday, and I know their drinks when I see them coming,” McEntire said. “Some of them come two or three times a day.” 

McEntire said she loves shopping in her downtime as well as watching TV.

“I love to shop, that’s my new addiction,” McEntire said. “I’m a bargain shopper too, so I get a  lot of good deals when I shop. I like NCIS, Chicago Med, Chicago PD, or any of those. I’m always watching one of those.” 

McEntire said she loves to travel, and her dream vacation is Hawaii. Her favorite destination she has seen is Jamaica. 

“I’ve already worked everywhere else on campus, and I wouldn’t want to work anywhere else except Roasted,” McEntire said.