To celebrate coffeehouse romances as Valentine’s Day approaches, Starbucks Coffee Company is looking for couples whose relationship brewed in its stores.

Beginning today and ending February 7, 2003, Starbucks will be collecting essays at as part of its “Match Made Over Coffee” contest. The winner with the most creative, romantic and coffee-rich, true love story will receive an all-expense-paid trip for two to Vienna, Austria.

“Over the years, we have heard story after story of customer romances getting their start in our coffeehouses,” explains John Moore, marketing manager for Starbucks. “With the ‘Match Made Over Coffee’ contest, we hope to highlight the phenomenon by collecting, sharing and celebrating these true Starbucks romances during the Valentine’s Day season.”

The Starbucks contest follows on the heels of a recent survey that indicates the popularity of coffeehouses as a favorite location for romantic get-togethers. The survey’s findings reveal that more than three out of five young single adults (62 percent) believe that a couple that met in a coffeehouse has a better chance of succeeding in love than a couple that met in a bar.

To participate in the “Match Made Over Coffee” contest, entrants must submit a true, 250-word essay to, explaining how they found love at Starbucks. Stories will be judged on the basis of creativity of presentation (30 percent), romantic theme (40 percent) and Starbucks story/coffee involvement (30 percent). Winners will be determined by and announced on February 14, 2003. The contest is open to all legal U.S. residents over the age of 18.

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