They say love happens when you least expect it. And sometimes where you least expect it. Could it be that a trip from Oxford on the way to the coast might land you the rest of your life? If you’re Caitlin McNally, it does.

This 23 year old, self professed ‘student of life’ found love in a coffee shop in the form of a former teacher turned barista, musician and club booker. He is Cody Cox, the 32 year old front man of the couple’s band, Liver Mousse, another sort of chance thing for the pair. “We were hanging out and she mentioned she liked to sing”, Cox says, “and so I convinced to sing for me”.

From there, he tells us, they joked of potential band names, started writing songs, and bought some gear. While Cox has played guitar for 12 years and is known around town as a solo act, McNally says that she became a drummer by default. “I have the physical ability to move my arms. That’s as much of a drummer as I am”. Both say “it just kind of happened”. Kind of like the path both have taken to get to today.

The newly engaged couple, planning a spring 2012 wedding, say their future plans won’t be left to chance. “We have had this idea for some time now that we want to make happen in the next few years”, Cox says, speaking of a downtown record store and hangout. “Not a bar, and not a coffee shop, but a place to come by, listen to a new record and have a beer”, they tell us. Cox cites the passing of BeBop and the development of downtown Jackson as the catalyst to move forward. “With Parlor Market and Underground 119 already strong, we really think this would push things forward downtown”.

Both Cox and McNally are baristas for coffee shops just around the corner from the other. But they don’t see it as competition. “We have great respect for our owners”, Cox tells us. We (Cups) have been here 18 years and summarily knocked out the national chain”. Then there’s Sneaky Beans, McNally’s employer, who Cox says it ‘thriving’ and ‘coming in to their own’. The couple applaud both for their individual niches and say each shop’s ability to be in business plays off the other. “We love coffee”, McNally says, “and nerd out if we start talking about it. And we love what we do”. Cox adds “Jackson thrives on businesses helping each other out”.

And that’s something the pair say they do well together, too: learn and grow. “Cody has taught me so much about following my passion”, McNally says. “He wows me by doing what he loves”. And that may not always have a big paycheck attached to it, but she says that’s okay. “We aren’t afraid to be broke. We’re going to do what we love”.