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Melanie Diaz, 29, woke up one winter morning and told her then-boyfriend, Sidd Sinha, she had a dream he proposed in a grocery store. Just a few short months later in May, Sinha made that sleepy thought a reality in the most creative way.
Sinha, 31, didn’t just simply pop the question in the ice cream aisle. Instead, he planned an elaborate proposal inside one of New York City’s Trader Joe’s, complete with a museum-style tour that documented the milestones of the couple's relationship and spanned all three floors of the store.
“We both knew that I was going to propose at some point,” Sinha told TODAY. “And because that element of the surprise wasn’t there, I wanted to make it special.”
So Sinha reached out to the Upper West Side Trader Joe’s back in April, three weeks before the May 26 proposal. With the help of the store manager, Sinha created the “Millennial Grocery Tour” inside Diaz’s favorite grocery chain, with symbolic signs — literally — at every turn.
The day of the proposal began as just a romantic Saturday in the city — including a trip to Central Park, a gondola ride and caricature illustrations — when they headed to a bar to watch Sinha’s Houston Rockets in the NBA playoffs.
As they passed a nearby Trader Joe’s, however, Sinha suddenly suggested the pair stop in for some necessities.
“We were walking toward the bar, and he goes, ‘Oh look, your favorite store, Trader Joe’s,’” Diaz recalled. “And he starts talking about how we need to go grocery shopping, and I’m like, ‘You know what, I really don’t want to go grocery shopping. I’ll go tomorrow!’”
With a healthy dose of suspicion, Diaz finally complied.
Upon walking into Trader Joe's, the couple saw the tour's first beautifully crafted sign, which fit right in with normal Trader Joe's aesthetic. It read: "When coffee meets bagel, a perfect combination for any great start."
The sign's meaning? “Coincidentally, not coincidentally,” as Diaz put it, the couple met two years ago on the dating app Coffee Meets Bagel.
It was at that point when Diaz quickly realized that Sinha’s unusual grocery shopping impulse was more than a bit of late-night hunger.
“At first, I didn’t really know what was happening, but I had a feeling something was going on with how the signs were all applying to me and to our relationship,” said Diaz.
Beyond the signage, Sinha planned every last detail of the grocery store experience. A photographer disguised as a store employee took photos, Diaz’s favorite song, "Lady Marmalade," played over the speakers and one worker handed out flowers.
“I go to Trader Joe's a lot and I've never seen them hand out flowers, I remember thinking. The wheels were turning at this point in my head ... Something’s happening, this was not a coincidence,” Diaz said.
After passing from one aisle to the next, the pair arrived at a sample station with cups of their favorite snack: chocolate-covered almonds.
The woman distributing the free treats gave Diaz a cup, and said, “it’s best to eat them one by one,” Diaz recalled to TODAY. “And when I took out the first almond, I saw an engagement ring.”
In perfect time, Sinha then turned Diaz around to see one last sign. This one read, “Melanie, Will You Marry Me?” And after weeks of Sinha’s planning, the moment had arrived. Diaz, of course, said yes.
“It was a dream come true,” said Diaz. “I was kind of in shock, but it was amazing the way he did it. He makes me happy. I feel lucky to be with someone like him. It was just kind of all out of a dream.”