Asked why he did it, the man simply replied, “Why not?”
Without further explanation, an anonymous young stranger showed up at a Grocery Outlet store in Concord, California last week and paid for the groceries of a handful of customers. According to store supervisor Jamie Flores, the guy walked in mid-afternoon, asked for a manager and said he wanted to cover the shoppers' tabs.
The store staff wasn’t too sure what to make of the man’s gesture, but of course, they let him proceed.
“We just kind of went with it because you never really see stuff like this,” Flores tells Ellen’s Good News. “He went to the second register and paid for one person’s groceries, then he stood at the end of the third register with a bag. Each time the transaction would go through, he’d pull out cash and pay for the bill.”
For 20 minutes, whoever came through the checkout line was fortunate enough to receive a free bag of groceries. Flores says the man spent just over $600.
“All of us were in awe,” she recalls. “We had people hugging him. People didn’t know what was going on. Everyone was in as much shock as we were. This one lady -- she was the third or fourth person he bought groceries for -- she almost started crying. It definitely brought tears to her eyes.”
Flores adds, “He didn’t pick people he thought needed it. He didn’t discriminate. Whoever was in that line was getting their groceries paid for, and that lady was overflowing with emotion.”
Grocery Outlet is considered a bargain supermarket chain, which buys overstock products from other outlets, and discounted items when companies update their packaging. Flores says she asked the man how he happened to select their business for his random act of kindness, and he said nothing more than, “It’s a good store.”
Flores acknowledges that while it may have been by chance they were granted the gift, it was perfectly timed for their own charitable efforts.
“All the month of July we do this thing called ‘Independence from Hunger,’ and it’s a food drive for our local food bank,” she explains. “The second week of our food drive, he comes in to share with everyone this wonderful, wonderful thing, so it brought chills to us. We hear about people doing this stuff all the time -- people hiding cash or paying for someone else’s toll bridge or food, but to witness it firsthand was just great.”