Kamelia thought her first date with Richard would be shorter than a shot of espresso.
Sitting on the patio of a Starbucks® store in downtown Salt Lake City, she watched him approach. He was wearing shorts, an unremarkable shirt, hiking shoes and socks. Tall, white socks.
“The first thought that came to mind was ‘let me get rid of this guy really fast,’” said Kamelia Manouchehri, who works in the men’s department of Nordstrom.
They began to chat. Richard Phiefer slowly sipped a brewed coffee while Kamelia tried to drink a tall vanilla latte at record speed. But something happened as Kamelia reached the end of her beverage. She realized she didn’t want to “get rid of” him anymore. She sat there with a nearly empty Starbucks cup in front of her, wanting to make it last awhile longer.
“The one thing I really liked about him was how genuine he was on that first date,” she recalled. “His eyes were smiling and that’s what I loved about him.”
But unlike most couples who meet at Starbucks for dates, Kamelia and Richard ended up getting married at their favorite Starbucks store.
The couple continued dating for almost three years. For added proof of their love, Richard even agreed to a wardrobe makeover at Nordstrom. Long walks and more coffee chats at Starbucks eventually led to an unexpected date destination for Kamelia, who said she “hates surprises.” Richard picked her up from work, drove her to a scenic area near the Ogden River and proposed.
He had another revelation for Kamelia. He asked her hold the wedding ceremony on the patio of the Starbucks where they had their first date. “I told him that would be embarrassing,” she recalled. “He said, ‘no, this is going to be the most romantic wedding in the world because that’s where we fell in love.’ I was so moved by that, I said yes.”
Starbucks store manager Johnny Poe has seen a lot in his 18 years with the company, but this request was a first.
“It’s not unusual to hear from people who say they met at Starbucks and had their first dates there. That happens all the time. A wedding? That’s different,” Poe said. “Our team was happy to organize the ceremony for Kamelia and Richard.”
Starbucks partners arranged the patio furniture the way it had been for the couple’s first date. Under Starbucks green umbrellas, with Kamelia wearing a black and white floral pattern dress and Richard in a black suit (no tall white socks), they said their vows.
“The people at Starbucks did an amazing job on our special day,” said Kamelia. “It was indeed the romantic wedding Richard promised.”
This is Kamelia’s Starbucks story, what’s yours? Share story ideas here, as these Starbucks customers have: