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KLAMATH FALLS, Ore. (AP) — It’s more than a cup of coffee for some Starbucks customers — it’s a latté love affair that’s been brewing at the coffee stand on South Sixth Street throughout the past 15 years.

The coffee stand inside Haggen grocery store, the only Starbucks in Klamath Falls, puts a lid on its business Wednesday night. The Haggen store itself is scheduled to close in October.

Loyal customers on Tuesday, as well as past and present employees, shared their fondness for the coffee stand known for everything from frappuccinos to Americanos to fall drink favorites.

Area resident Mary Masters clutched a drink carrier containing five pumpkin spice lattés on Tuesday, and promised there are more in her freezer — about one dozen more. The diehard Starbucks customer said she buys two to three drinks per day.

“I’m a Starbucks girl.and nothing else,” Masters said.

Masters pointed to the hearts penned by Starbucks employees on each of her drinks, before wiping a tear from her eye as she left.

“I am stocking up because they are closing,” Masters said.

Customers to be missed

“I think the saddest part is missing our regular customers,” said Alicia Hess, assistant manager and a more-than-13-year employee. “They become like family.”

It’s been about more than making cups of coffee for 32-year-old Hess as well, who started working at the coffee stand in her late teens.

“It’s very much shown me how to love customers, and love people,” Hess said.

Hess plans to enter into a Youth With A Mission ministry in Costa Rica through New Horizon Christian Fellowship later this month; something the closure has freed up time for her to do.

“It’s really sad but at the same time, kind of rewarding to start new things,” she said.

Some employees will continue to work for Haggen in other capacities until the grocery store closes its doors, while others are uncertain of next steps.

Change in routine certain

The only certain thing seems a change up in routine for employees as well as customers, like John Morawiec. Morawiec poured cream into his iced coffee at the stand on Tuesday, ritually stirring it as he does on most of his daily visits to the coffee stand.

“It’s just one of those addictions,” he said.

A customer petition to keep Starbucks in Klamath Falls or bring one back to the area has gained at least 900 signatures, according to employees. The petition was available to sign at the stand Wednesday.

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Information from: Herald and News, http://www.heraldandnews.com