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Archive for Sunday, July 28, 2002

Mark Zwahl: Sensitive nature makes coffeehouse owner top bachelor

July 28, 2002

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Mark Zwahl's friends and employees think he's a great catch.

In fact, 13 of them signed a petition nominating him as one of Lawrence's most eligible bachelors.

Those who put their names on the list have nothing but good things to say about Zwahl, who owns the Z's Divine Espresso coffeehouses at 1800 E. 23rd St. and 10 E. Ninth St.

"He's a very sensitive person. You don't meet too many men who will freely admit that they are sensitive. And as a woman, that's kind of appealing, because there is too much machoism out there as it is," said Pamela Watson, Zwahl's office manager.

Kate von Achen, who manages Z's downtown store, is eager to promote her employer, too.

"I think he's a great guy, and if he weren't so much older than me, I would date him. He's a very caring person, and he's good at showing that to people," said von Achen, 23.

Even other men are able to appreciate the qualities that would make Zwahl, 42, a sought-after companion.

"Women think he's hot. Everybody says he's got pretty eyes ? they say they're sparkling blue or sea blue. He's an honest, straightforward guy, doesn't pull any punches," said J.T. Mueller, 21, who works at Zwahl's 23rd Street store.

In their nomination, his friends and co-workers note that Zwahl has diverse interests: He composes music, plays the piano, gardens, cooks and writes poetry.

Zwahl, who is divorced, has two children. He has a master's degree in human development and family life from Kansas University. Before he started Z's Divine Espresso, Zwahl was director of the community support project at Kansas Neurological Institute in Topeka.

Zwahl said he is touched and humbled that people who know him nominated him as Lawrence's most eligible bachelor.

"I think one of the reasons the staff wanted to do it was to get me involved with someone, so they could get me out of their hair. I think there's a hidden agenda there," he said, laughing.

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