A couple of weeks ago, The Record North Shore published the story of an 18-year-old overdue meeting between Jonathan Celner – the baby who was born in a Starbucks bathroom, and Griffin Baron – the store employee who helped the mother in childbirth.
Griffin was 21 at the time and working as a Starbucks supervisor at the Edens Plaza branch, Wilmette. Around 5 p.m., he was eating in the backroom, when Lisabeth Rohlck, 37 weeks pregnant went into labor in the bathroom.
“I heard loud screams going through the wall and thought someone had locked themselves in the bathroom,” Griffin said, approaching to see what was going on. Then, to find out what was going on behind the door, a client named Tricia Monico entered the bathroom and came out with a pale face asking them to call 911. ‘This lady is going to have a baby.'”
After notifying the police, Griffin explained what he did: “I grabbed some hot towels because that’s what I think you do, and 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.’. When the medical staff arrived at the place Baron yelled ‘Come in and cut this cable'”.
Several outlets reported the news, trying to contact Baron to tell his anecdote the next day. Even his aunt Dolores – who lived in Buffalo – called him asking ‘why am I eating oatmeal and see you at The Today Show?’. Clearly, the story had spread nationally, even making some magazine covers.
Subsequently, Griffin had to declare to the local media, but he never knew again about the baby (Jonathan) whom he had helped to be born. “That was a very important thing for me and I had always wanted to know what happened to him and the family, and what it turned out to be, and I wanted to give my perspective on that day,” Baron reported explaining what he did to find the child.
One day, Griffin decided to Google the mother, finding out that she had passed away in 2012 due to cancer. Shockingly, he found her name linked to a GoFundMe because Jonathan’s father had died last year of a heart condition.
“I wrote in the mailbox that I wanted to talk to the family and give them my perspective on that day,” he said. Jonathan’s aunt responded by facilitating her nephew’s contact on Facebook and through that social network they contacted to see each other. The appointment took place in the same place where the event had occurred 18 years ago.
“It was definitely a moment of great smile for me when we met. He’s a good guy,” said Griffin, who introduced Jonathan to Starbucks employees as he told the story of what happened that afternoon. “Our meeting was great, “ Griffin said. “We talked for about an hour. He is a super cool kid. He didn’t know a lot of the insanity of what it was like. It was good to finally fill in all these holes that we had.”
At the meeting, in addition to talking about what happened Jonathan Celner, told Baron that he graduated from Glenbrook South High School in 2020 and is now taking classes at Oakton Community College. While Griffin informed him that he no longer works at Starbucks and is now an administrator at the NPO Centro Romero in Chicago, where he resides, he also said he got married and has two children.
The reunion lasted about an hour but they promised to stay in touch.