Staff members and customers of LeLu Coffee Lounge in Siesta Key Village are showing an outpour of support for the death of employee Carly Lanea Cogan.
Cogan, 23, died early Sunday morning after she struck a utility pole near the intersection of State Road 70 and Lakewood Ranch Boulevard. According to a report by Florida Highway Patrol, Cogan died at the scene at about 1:40 a.m.
She worked as a barista for two years at LeLu and was well known by customers according to storeowner Jennifer Smith.
“Carly always told me no matter what was going on her life, when she came here to work that all of the customers and all of the people who came into LeLu, they always made her feel equally as loved as she made them feel,” Smith said.
Customers and friends have been leaving comments on the store’s Facebook page in memory of Cogan. She was a resident of Sarasota and attended Riverview High School.
“A lot of the customers here have kids that went to school with her. It’s touched a lot of people and I’ve had unbelievable responses,” Smith said.
Smith said Cogan was known for her love of music and helped grow the weekly open-mic night over the past two years.
To celebrate her life the coffee lounge will be hosting a special open-mic night in memory of Cogan on Thursday from 6 to 10 p.m. at LeLu Coffee Lounge. Information regarding a memorial service will be announced at that time.
Anyone interested in performing or submitting condolences are asked to email [email protected].