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Louisville barista sells 1,000+ cups of milk

Got milk? Adam Hill does.

Man in a blue shirt pouring milk into a plastic cup.

Adam believes anything is possible if you put your mind to it and have a supportive following.

Photo by LOUtoday

Heine Brothers Coffee barista Adam Hill can teach us a thing or two about achieving goals — and he has the posters to prove it.

Inside the Clifton location, there’s a cluster of hand-drawn accolades representing Adam’s milestones on his legendairy journey to selling 1,000 cups of milk. A goal he created when he started working there in the fall of 2021 — and a goal he reached a few weeks ago.

But before Adam was a barista with a “milk the support” wall, he was just a customer who, well, really liked milk.

“It’s my favorite drink,” Adam said. “It’s my main order at a coffee shop. I get a cup of milk with a cup of coffee.” Because of Adam, Heine Brothers was selling a lot of milk, but that all changed when he turned his hangout place into his work place.

Shocked by the dip in milk sales after he stepped behind the coffee counter, Adam sought out to fix that. With the support of his fellow baristas, he created a personal challenge to upsell milk to customers.

“My first official milk sale happened in March of 2022, and was basically just someone asking for it,” he said. Nonetheless, the sale was the encouragement he needed to really get the ball rolling. Although it was a slow start, only reaching 50 total sales in December 2022, things escalated when Adam sold his 100th cup of milk the following March.

Plastic cup of milk on a table

Adam counted dairy, oat, almond, and soy milk toward his goal, which cost ~$3.02-$3.24 per cup.

Photo by LOUtoday

As his sales began to snowball, people started to notice. They made signs congratulating him every time he broke a new record. A groupchat was event created for his following to share projections.

But the supportive signs weren’t the only reason he was selling so much milk. He had also perfected his sales pitch.

Adam’s milk spiel changes from customer to customer, but it often goes something like this: “Would you all like to try a cold and refreshing cup of milk? I hit my 200th sale yesterday and it’s really good.” Adam also knows how to read a room. He commented that he could tell who might be interested in hearing him out and who was just in a hurry to grab a cup of coffee.

“It’s funny how going out of your comfort zone to recommend something funny can really introduce you to some cool people,” Adam said. “If you’re putting yourself out there, people will appreciate that.”

By the end of summer 2023, he was averaging 25-30 sales per shift. “I always talked about hitting 1,000, so when I finally hit 500, I realized it wasn’t just a dream. That it was definitely possible,” he said.

Finally, on Wednesday, Sept. 13, his count hit 978. He purposefully lowballed sales the next day so that on Friday, Sept. 15, he could hit his goal surrounded by the people who supported him along the way.

“Although I’m a big milk fan, my biggest takeaway from this fun, crazy challenge was just the people I got to meet. The people that I work with and the friends I made during it,” he said. “That’s the stuff that really motivates you.“

Since reaching his goal, Adam has slowed his milk sales, but he still pitches it every so often while he figures out his next challenge. He’s thinking about hot chocolate.

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