Sateva Walling was born in Lakewood, CO and ended up homeless at the age of 12 due to impossible and terrible family circumstances. Now, at 28 years old, Sateva is over one month sober and has been working at Purple Door for nearly two. She has been a delight to our team; her tough but tender spirit has brought light to our space. Read more about her story below.
Sateva taking a customer’s order at Purple Door.
How old are you and how did you become interested in working at Purple Door Coffee?I’m 28. And I don’t know…I talked to Matt (from Dry Bones) about it and it seemed like something that would help me to develop the skills that I need to put myself in a better place than I was.
Were you worried about working?
Yeah, a little bit. A little nervous. Anxious. Just because it had been so long since I had a job.
Well, we’re so glad to have you here. What is something that people might not initially realize about you?
This is a hard question! I like to write poetry, but I write a bunch of stuff.
Would you ever do slam poetry?
Whaaaat? What is that? Like where you stand up with a mic? If I did, I’d make sure to drop the mic. *MIC DROP* (laughs)
Are you originally from Denver?
Yes. I grew up in Lakewood, but about the age of 12 I started running around downtown.
Can you share a favorite memory of growing up here?
My favoritest memory… Well, I know that my grandma used to wake us up, me and my little brother, at like 4 o’clock in the morning and take us to breakfast at The Dollhouse Café. And then take us to Sloan’s Lake to watch the sunrise.
That’s awesome. What would you get for breakfast?
Banana? Chocolate chip?
No question. Chocolate chip. I loooooove chocolate chip pancakes.
What is your favorite task to do while at work? What has been your favorite thing so far?
(laughs) I love to weigh out the coffee. It’s just relaxing to me.
Sateva weighing out coffee while on shift.
Who is someone you look up to?
Ummm, literally or… because I’m short! So I literally look up to everyone. (laughs) I’d have to say my little brother. Most of my life he’s had two jobs and has had his stuff together even though we’ve been through as much as we have. And even now, he’s sober and has two jobs.
Do you have favorite spots in the city?
One of my favorite spots to go and think is Confluence Park. And I like to go to Sox Place; most of my support is there and I like to interact with the kids that are where I was. I also like to go down to the half circle because it’s quiet and calming. And there’s a spot by the river, off 6th and Broadway, that I like to go to for peace.
For the remaining Saturdays in April, Sateva will be taking over Purple Door Coffee Instagram account to share pictures and a few thougthts on her favorite places in the city. Be sure to follow us at @purpledoorcoffee and look for the #purpledoorstories hashtag!