Barista reunites with baby he helped deliver in Starbucks

Barista reunites with the baby he helped deliver in Starbucks 18 years ago to have a coffee at the exact spot where the two first met

  • Griffin Baron was just 21 when Lisabeth Rohlck unexpectedly went into labor
  • Jonathan Celner was born of the floor of the bathroom in the Illinois coffee shop
  • Using social media Baron was able to track Celner down and the pair met up 

A former Starbucks barista who helped a woman give birth in one of the coffee shop chain’s bathrooms has been reunited with the baby 18 years later.

Griffin Baron, 39, and Jonathan Celner met for a coffee at the same Illinois cafe they first encountered each other nearly two decades ago after connecting on social media.

Baron was just 21 and working as a supervisor at the Wilmette branch of Starbucks in Illinois when Celner’s mother Lisabeth Rohlck unexpectedly went into labor.   

The former barista said he heard high-pitched screams coming from the bathroom, but he initially thought that someone had simply locked themselves inside. 

Griffin Baron (left) was reunited with Jonathan Celner (right) at the same Starbucks where he had helped deliver him as a baby 18 years ago

A customer Tricia Monico went into the bathroom and came back to report that Rohlck was having a baby and instructed Baron to call 911.

Baron told The Record North Shore:  ‘I open the bathroom door and there’s this woman on the rail huffing and puffing and ready to go and there is the head, three-quarters out, and there is Tricia holding her hand and saying, ‘You’re doing great, you’re doing great,’ and four minutes later: ‘Waaaah.”

A baby boy was born just minutes later and EMTs arrived to take the mother and child to hospital.

At the time, there was plenty of media interest in the ‘Starbucks baby’, but in those weeks Baron never came face to face with the child he had helped deliver. 

He told Good Morning America that since then he has thought about Celner ‘constantly’ and often wondered about the sort of child he had turned out to be.

An online search revealed that Rohlck had died from complications relating to breast cancer and her husband, Thomas Celner, died in 2020. 

Jonathan Celner was born on the bathroom floor of the Wilmette branch of Starbucks in Illinois

Baron was just 21 at the time he helped deliver Celner and at the time there was plenty of media interest in the story of the ‘Starbucks baby’

On a GoFundMe page attached to his parents’ names, Baron left a comment in hope that it may connect him to Jonathan. Celner’s aunt responded, and Baron, who now lives in Chicago was able to find Jonathan on Facebook. 

Baron and Celner had a coffee together at the Wilmette branch of Starbucks on March 21 and spoke for about an hour. They now plan to stay in touch.

‘The story always reminded me of my mom, which I really enjoy,’ Celner, who works for UPS and is studying at community college, told GMA.

Celner’s mother Lisabeth Rohlck would tell her son about the story of how he was born and all the media attention that followed

The Wilmette branch of Starbucks when Baron helped to deliver a baby boy 18 years ago

‘She would always tell me the story and would say how insane those next few weeks were for her – just a total media circus.’

‘When Griffin [Baron] reached out, it came full circle, which was cool.’

On Instagram, Baron shared picture of the two men in Starbucks, writing: ‘We were finally able to connect and it was great to fill in a lot of holes that he and I had about each other.’ 

He added: ‘The day he was born was a life-changing experience for me (and obviously him) and not only was it great meeting him, but I gained a new friend out of it too.’ 

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