Local News

Cary Starbucks brews up 'burning' love

Posted February 14, 2009 2:30 p.m. EST
Updated March 9, 2009 5:12 p.m. EDT

— It was love at first scald when a woman spilled hot coffee on a man at a Starbucks restaurant in Cary. One Valentine's Day later, the accident-prone customers tied the knot in the same store.

Laura Strain came to the Starbucks, at 1217 Kildaire Farm Road, in March 2008 to treat herself to her first cup of coffee from the chain. Instead, she ended up spilling the coffee on a stranger, Allan Tortorice.

"He's wearing my coffee, and I'm having a fit, because I was very concerned that hurt somebody, first of all," Strain said. "He was all dressed up, and it (coffee) was everywhere. His jacket was open, and it was on his shirt, and he was sort of holding it so it didn't burn him."

The accidental encounter, though, started a romance between the two.

Strain gave her phone number to Tortorice, so he could contact her about dry cleaning and medical bills. Instead, Tortorice asked her out to dinner, and the romance steamed up from there.

"It's what they call burning love," Strain said.

On Feb. 14, a pastor married Strain and Tortorice at the same Starbucks store.

The bride wore a knee-length, white and pink dress and a hot pink shawl – for Valentine's Day.

About 25 guests attended. Meanwhile, the store stayed open, customers ordered double mocha lattes, and the scent of brewing Colombian coffee filled the air.