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    C-store Chains to Celebrate National Coffee Day

    Thorntons, 7-Eleven and Wilson Farms stores will give away free coffee tomorrow for a limited time.

    LOUISVILLE, Ky. -- Tomorrow is National Coffee Day. To mark the occasion, Thorntons will offer a free coffee, cappuccino or hot chocolate to every customer. This "CofFREE Day" event will take place at all Thorntons stores from 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., the company said.

    Thorntons' signature coffee blend is made from 100-percent Arabica beans to guarantee a smooth, flavorful taste in every cup. In addition to its premium coffee, Thorntons' cappuccino and hot chocolate are also being included in this offer. Customers are encouraged to "Makeurmix" with a variety of creamers and sweeteners, plus fresh whipped cream.

    "This is a great opportunity for everyone to enjoy a delicious hot beverage and for Thorntons to honor National Coffee Day," said Matt Thornton, president and CEO of the chain, which has stores located regionally in five states: Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Tennessee and Ohio.

    Also celebrating National Coffee Day will be 7-Eleven and Wilson Farms (which 7-Eleven acquired this spring). From 7 to 11 a.m., participating Wilson Farms, Sugarcreek, Wilson Farms Xpress and 7-Eleven stores will give away free medium-size cups of hot coffee.

    "Coffee is one of Wilson Farms and 7-Eleven's top-selling products," said Mark Senay, director of the Wilson Farms transition team and 7-Eleven stores in Western New York. "We have an extremely loyal coffee following. We want to thank our coffee customers for their patronage and have some fun both online and in our stores."

    Leading up to this four-hour "CofFREE break," 7-Eleven invited its Facebook fans to participate in Dip-a-Drip, an interactive game hosted on 7-Eleven's Facebook page that allowed fans to launch a ball that dipped a "drip" (a.k.a. obnoxious person) into a giant 7-Eleven coffee cup at a live event held today at Union Station in Washington, D.C. Visitors to 7-Eleven's Facebook page were invited to vote on who they thought was the most obnoxious stereotype -- like the Headset-Talker, Know-It-All, Snooty Barista, Over-Sharer and Horrible Boss.

    "National Coffee Day is an opportunity to showcase 7-Eleven's long history in providing coffee on the go," said Nancy Smith, 7-Eleven's marketing vice president. "In fact, 7-Eleven was the first retailer to offer coffee in to-go cups back in 1964 on Long Island. Our coffee bars have become store hot spots with about a million coffee customers customizing their coffee each day."

    In a coffee survey conducted for 7-Eleven earlier this month by Opinion Research Corp. (ORC), more than half of respondents said that making a cup of coffee to match their taste preferences is the most important factor in preparation. The ORC survey also reported that three out of every four respondents said they prefer to fix their own coffee rather than have a barista, foodservice employee or machine prepare their cup of coffee. That same number said drinking their cup of coffee is a part of their daily routine and they always fix their coffee the same way.

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