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Friday, Aug 29, 2014
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Market lures singles with ‘Express Lane Love’ event Friday

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CARROLLWOOD — People occasionally do find love among the cantaloupes.

With that premise in mind, Whole Foods Market in Carrollwood is hosting Express Lane Love from 6 to 8 p.m. on Friday — Valentine’s Day.

So far about 35 women and 15 men have signed up for the free speed-dating event.

“We always like to bring fun and exciting events to our store and you know, there’s that saying that you can always find love at the grocery store,” said Anna Payne, the store’s marketing director.

The concept initially came from the Pinecrest Whole Foods Market in southern Miami-Dade County, where four such events have taken place. Alina Roche, who handles marketing director for that store, said she doesn’t know of any lasting matches, but participants have returned to the store for other events and some have called looking to get an email address they misplaced for someone they want to contact.

Here’s how it works: Those who sign up will be broken into two age groups — under 35 and over 35. (Thirty-five-year-olds may choose either group). Women will be seated in a row and men will be seated across from them. Participants will get ballots and have two minutes to spend with each person of the opposite gender, while enjoying wine, cheese and chocolates.

At the end of the event, Payne will look to see who is a match — two parties wanting to get to know each other. “If Johnny puts down that he likes Sally and Sally puts down that she likes Johnny, I will share information with them on how to make contact,” Payne said.

Because there is no pressure to share contact information on the spot, all parties just can focus on conversation and having fun, Payne said.

The store is at 3802 Northdale Blvd. in Tampa. To sign up in advance, call (813) 264-3600 or go to Whole Foods Market, then click the events tab.

yhammett@tampatrib.com

(813) 259-7127

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