Daddy Norbucks
    Photo by Justin Barbin / North by Northwestern.

    Anthony Anderson will make your drink with a smile. But who is the cheerful man behind the coffee? The 29-year-old takes your orders at Norbucks, but here’s what you don’t know about the late-night keeper of caffeine.

    On growing up in Thornton, Ill.

    When I was 16, I didn’t get a car — I got roller blades. I knew one kid in town who skated. We skated religiously. Every year on my birthday, I have [had] a skate park tour, for five years in a row now. What better to do than hang out with your friends and go all over the place skating in one day?

    On staying upbeat

    You get used to your shift. It’s just a state of mind. You say, “I’ll be in a good mood today.” And with taking care of people, you don’t want to have a frumpy face and give them sloppy drinks. You have to be nice. It’s part of the gig, but it’s also part of who I am.

    On when he’s not working

    I bake a lot. I’ve got a sweet tooth. My cookies get good reviews. I’m not telling you what I put in them, though. I goof around with pastas and red sauces all the time. I make a killer brunch. I’ll make anything on the brunch menu, anytime.

    On hip-hop dreams

    I used to want to be a DJ. I never wrote graffiti, but I did want to goof around on turntables. It was a medium I could relate to as a kid growing up because you could play tapes in your car, then CDs came out, but we still had records. That was cool. It’s got the pops, the hisses and all that feel to it.

    On the grind

    I went to Calumet College of St. Joseph. Majored in media and fine arts. I had a TV job for five years at a racetrack, I was a camera man. I was working two jobs. It was all the way in the suburbs, which wasn’t bad, but everything else was in the city—friends, girlfriends, family. I was running on four hours of sleep every night. I get good sleep now. I’m happy and ready for work every day.


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