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For Love Of Java

New cafe/bar franchise makes love connections.

If you embrace the need for more love in this world, you may be able to do something about it. New York City's much-hyped coffee, liquor and dessert bar, Drip, is now franchising. Its MO for success: matchmaking (bow and arrow not required).

Prior to starting the business in 1996, Nancy Slotnick, 32, brainstormed ways to energize the lackluster singles scene. After ruling out a relationship-oriented bookstore, she settled on a cafe setting that would serve as a meeting ground for love-seekers.

It's a place where you can relax on a '70s-inspired sofa and sip on a Cap'n Crunch milkshake. Patrons searching for a soul mate can either peruse the 60 note-books scattered around, hoping to connect with one of the 23,000 customers who've filled out profiles, or request a profile sheet from the bar and fill in their own likes and dislikes in hopes of being courted. Because customer phone numbers aren't disclosed, all dates are arranged by, and take place at, Drip.

According to Slotnick, Drip would thrive in any city with a large singles population. Already registered to franchise in California, Florida, Georgia, Illinois, Massachusetts, New York, Pennsylvania and Washington, DC, the former corporate recruiter is merely waiting for perfect matches.

"Because I own a new company that's innovative and different," says Slotnick, "I'm looking for people who are entrepreneurial yet know how to follow a system. A unique blend, if you will."

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This article was originally published in the June 1999 print edition of Entrepreneur with the headline: For Love Of Java.

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