By Mary O’KEEFE
Starbucks is doing what it can for love this Valentine’s Day. The “World’s Largest Starbucks Date” is actually a day earlier, on Feb. 13, so those who find true love on Friday can celebrate on Saturday.
“There’s no better time to celebrate meaningful moments of connection, and encourage new ones, than during Valentine’s Day,” stated Sharon Rothstein, Starbucks global chief marketing officer in a release. “For more than 40 years Starbucks has been a place to connect over a great cup of coffee. We’re a place where people come together to share important life moments – big and small. We’ve been witness to first dates, marriage proposals, job interviews, friends and families reunited, communities gathering, and so much more in our stores around the world.”
Starbucks will not be on this date alone; it has teamed with Match.com.
“We were inspired by the many Starbucks love stories we’ve seen throughout the years,” stated Kirstin Oke, spokesperson for Starbucks.
One such story is that of Kenna Rusk and Ethan Knapp who met about five years ago when Knapp filled out an application to work at the Starbucks where Rusk worked. They have been together ever since.
And then there is Eric and Kelly Roundtree. Eric, a devoted Starbucks lover, had known Kelly since high school where they had dated briefly, but then lost touch. Then last year they found each other through Facebook. They agreed to meet for dinner, but before the dinner, Eric showed up at the hospital where Kelly worked and dropped off cupcakes for the night shift. The next morning Kelly tracked him down at the place she knew he would be, according to the Starbucks’ statement.
“I’m sitting in Starbucks, like I always am, and she surprised me,” he recalled. “After all this time, there we were. Me with a trenta iced coffee with whole milk and sugar-free vanilla and Kelley, just getting off work, with a grande decaf coffee.”
Every morning after that, and on occasion some afternoons, Eric and Kelly would meet at Starbucks and talk. In September 2015 they will celebrate their first year of marriage.
There are many more Starbuck love stories.
“In, 2014 more than 3 million new Match members listed ‘coffee and conversation’ as an interest,” according to data from Match.
In addition, 50% of the U.S. singles think meeting at a coffeehouse is an official date. More than one in three singles say that having coffee together is a favorite activity for a first date.
Match even has a “Meet at Starbucks” feature that will allow members to directly send an invitation to another member to set up a coffee date.
For those who already have someone to share Valentine’s Day with, or for those who simply want to be alone, there is still a way to celebrate couples – with the pairing of specific food and drinks from the Starbucks menu for a special price of $5 from 2 p.m. to closing on Friday.