Danielle sat at the square tables. Josh sat at the circle ones. That was in elementary school over a decade ago. Fast forward to one night in late November last year and he's on one knee next to 'their table' in our Kirkwood cafe.
I invited Danielle and Josh to Kirkwood to get to know them more and their story together. We sat at their table in the back corner of the cafe drinking coffee. Danielle works an early childhood teacher and Josh is a customer service rep.
"We had gone to school together since elementary school and kind of ran in different circles," Danielle said. "In college we had a class together, public speaking, so it was nice and awkward. We went to a cafe at school after class and we were drinking coffee and asked me on our first official date. He brought me [to Kaldi's]"
They had their first date a little over five years ago.
"She got, on Jan. 17, an iced coffee. In the middle of winter," Josh said.
"A frozen coffee, it blew his mind. This was before I started really drinking coffee and so I just liked the frozen kind. He made fun of me for that," Danielle said.
"Show him yours, do you have yours?" Danielle motioned to Josh.
Josh got his wallet out from his pocket and pulled, hidden in the back pocket four coffee sleeves and laid them out on the table. Words in black pen covered each.
Each year, Josh and Danielle said they come back to Kirkwood and sit at their table for their anniversary. "We get the sleeves from the cups and write little love notes to each other," Josh said. "We have four, we should have five. I don't know what happened with one year," Danielle said.
Danielle talks about the time before Josh popped the question. "When my best friend got engaged that was hard to go through. Two of my closest friends got engaged in September & October and we got engaged in November so that was kind of hard. We had been together at that point nearly five years so we knew. It was gonna happen so I was just kinda waiting on that ring."
Before that night in November, Josh came into Kirkwood with a plan. It's not the first time we've seen or helped someone with an engagement. Personally, I've seen two engagements and even witnessed an elopement (signed the marriage certificate and everything).
Leading up to the night, Josh described how he was feeling. "It was rough. I had the ring for about three weeks and it drove me crazy. Every once and awhile even when I had it I'd get a text from her," he said.
The night came and Josh was ready, albiet nervous. He had the friends all set-up to play their roles.
"I was supposed to be meeting a friend at a bar and she called me, I was out in the parking garage, and said 'Where are you?' I said I'm parking right now," Danielle said. "She told me there's a really long wait at the bar so I'm over at Kaldi's. 'Okay I'll meet you there.' So I came in through the back door but it was locked."
Just as if they've told this story countless times before, Josh immediately chimes in. "Because I knew every time we come here we go through the back door and like about 10 min. before she got here i thought 'she's going to try and come through there.' So I asked up at the counter and asked is there anyway we can get that door locked because I know she's going to ruin it," he says laughing.
"So I tried getting in and I couldn't so I walked all the way around and I came in and I was looking for her and I saw him sitting there and he had a bouquet of flowers and i instantly knew," she said. "He got up, said some mushy stuff and got down on one knee. He had his parents videotaping and taking pictures. They were hiding."
"He thought of it all and asked my dad's permission, took my sister with him ring shopping," she said.
Their favorite memories together include their first half marathon (one of their hobbies) and trying new restaurants. "We run half marathons. We've run three so far, but our first one we did together was really special," Danielle said. They talked about their trips to Branson and first big trip together to Gulf Shores as their favorites as well. "I love going on road trips with him."
They picked a date for the wedding, October 25 this year with a trip to Hawaii later for the honeymoon. We wish them the best!
I know they're not the only ones with a special bond to Kaldi's. Maybe it was your first date or special memory with your significant other. We want to hear them! Share yours below.