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Rachel Caulfield

Rachel Caulfield

Video editor | ESPN alumna | Class of 2012

An Illini love story, Espresso Royale edition ...

"I used to go there with my college boyfriend on Sunday nights. We would sit in the same corner in the lower level; it was our quiet little spot. He asked me to be his girlfriend there," recalls self-employed central New York video editor Rachel Caulfield, who from 2012-16 held a number of behind-the-scenes jobs at ESPN.

"It was always a place where we felt at home and at peace. I’m not sure why; it was just a normal coffee shop.

"I remember the colorful, hand-painted tables, the students huddled over black laptops, and of course the smell of coffee.  

“On late nights walking home alone from the bars on Green Street, I would always use it as a landmark. I would see the neon 'Cafe' sign outside and feel a little more at ease knowing I was close to the safety of my dorm.

"Two years ago, that same college boyfriend — now my husband — and I went back to visit Champaign. We made a pit stop at our old place. We just walked in and looked at it, and walked out.”