Teen Born in Illinois Starbucks Meets Barista Who Helped His Mom Through Labor 18 Years Earlier

Griffin Baron, left, is reunited with Jonathan Celner, right, for the first time after helping his mom deliver him.
Griffin Baron, left, is reunited with Jonathan Celner, right, for the first time after helping his mom deliver him.(Griffin Baron/Instagram)

Griffin Baron, who was the Starbucks supervisor at the time, reminisced with 18-year-old Jonathan Celner over old video tapes of newsreels from the day of his birth.

Illinois teen Jonathan Celner was born at his local Starbucks 18 years ago. Now, the recent high school graduate is meeting the barista who helped his mom give birth for the first time.

“The last time I met him he was being born in the bathroom of this Starbucks 18 years ago,” former Starbucks supervisor Griffin Baron wrote on Instagram. “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.”

Baron, now a married father-of-two living in Chicago and working at a non-profit, explained he often thought of the boy and his family, according to the Record North Shore. He knew that Jonathan’s mom, Lisabeth Rohlck, died of cancer in 2012, and when looking up his dad, discovered through a GoFundMe page that he died last year of a heart condition.

He donated to the page, and reached out asking to speak to the family. Eventually, Baron found Jonathan on Facebook, and months later, received a response.

“We both just kind of flipped out,” he told Record North Shore.

The pair eventually arranged to meet at the very same Starbucks and reminisced about that very day immortalized by news stories, which Baron's mom recorded on VHS and Griffin eventually uploaded to YouTube.

Baron recalled being 21 years old and a recent graduate of New Trier High School at the time. He had been working as a supervisor at the Wilmette coffee shop when he heard screams coming from the bathroom.

“I heard high-pitched screams coming through the wall and thought someone had locked themselves in the bathroom,” Baron told Record North Shore. “When [a customer] came out, her face was white and she said, ‘Call 911.’ Then she said, ‘This lady is having a baby.’”

It turned out that Rohlck, who was 37 weeks pregnant at the time, had felt pains while driving home from work and pulled over to use the Starbucks bathroom.

“At the time I had a little bit of pain in my thigh,” she told CLTV at the time. “Didn’t think I was in labor by then.”

With hot towels from the coffee shop, Baron helped Rohlck deliver her baby as they awaited medical personnel to show up. He even recalled taking $60 from the till for a coworker to purchase supplies from department store next door.

“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,” Baron wrote on Instagram.

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