Romance at the Starbucks Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room

Love is in the air around the Starbucks Reserve® Roastery and Tasting Room.

That’s what Roastery events specialist Renee Frechin has been encountering over the last few months. From recent wedding proposals – in one case, a crowd gathered around a window to watch a young man outside get down on one knee and ask for his girlfriend’s hand in marriage – to Valentine’s dates, the Roastery staff has been helping create special moments since it opened in December of 2014.

The 15,000-square-foot space, located just nine blocks from Starbucks original Pike Place Market store, was the setting last month for an elaborate marriage proposal delivered by Yaroslav Barzul. The Ukraine-born 23-year-old decided to return to the same place on the same day as his first date with girlfriend Nataliya Kovalchuk to propose.

The Highline College student went to great lengths to surprise his sweetheart. Throughout their year together, the two took Polaroids pictures of their dates and captioned each one. Barzul gathered all the photos and created a display in the Roastery's Coffee Library for the occasion, adding one new shot: a picture of a ring captioned “Marry Me? 1.24.16.”

He also enlisted a friend to arrange a meeting at the Roastery, under the ruse of selling some snowboarding boots to an interested buyer. Barzul took care to delete his friend’s name from his phone contacts and gave Kovalchuk a glimpse of their back-and-forth texts to reinforce the clever trick. When the couple arrived at the meeting location, Kovalchuk stopped short of entering the Roastery’s library. Seeing that the room was reserved, she tried to stop her boyfriend from entering too. He kept walking, so she followed him into a space Roastery staff and friends had prepared for the occasion.

“Her first thought was, ‘Hey! Who stole all the Polaroids from my room?’ Barzul laughed. “She had no idea. I completely surprised her.”

Before they left that afternoon, one more Polaroid was added to the display, this one reading, “She said YES!”

A Wedding in the Coffee Library

The Roastery was also the setting for great conversations and meaningful moments between Joshua McMillian and Brandy Fielding.

“It’s one of our favorite places to hang out,” McMillian said. “For us, it’s just a great place to read and people watch.”

Their shared love of reading factored in their selection of a venue for a “fun, exciting and intimate” wedding.

“I actually asked her to marry me in a library,” McMillian recalled. “She worked in a library when she was right out of school. Then I thought, ‘You know what? There’s a special library at the Roastery. I remembered that room and the atmosphere and thought that would be perfect for a wedding.”

McMillian reached out to Frechin a month before the January 9 ceremony to reserve the room, not mentioning what he had planned there. A week before the actual event, she discovered the Roastery would be hosting its first-ever wedding.

“He said, ‘You do realize this is a wedding, don’t you?’ and I said, ‘Gosh, no! That’s a completely different kind of planning,’” Frechin recalled.

When the big day arrived, the room was decorated with flowers and seating for 35 guests.

“The staff was excellent,” McMillian said. “Everybody went out of their way. We asked for a few little things and they were just so accommodating. I left there thinking to myself, ‘I think I’ll be seeing more weddings at the Roastery.’”

To arrange an event at the Starbucks® Reserve Roastery and Tasting Room, email [email protected].

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