A coffee shop showed the power of a small act of kindness as it offered out free coffee to its customers.
Candy Bar Espresso in Summerhill Garden Centre, Billericay, gave out cups of coffee to 21 unsuspecting customers to show the good that a random act of kindness can do.
The family run cafe, owned by Helen Anderson, alongside son, Peter, and daughter, Becky, teamed up with The Echo and Billericay Acts of Random Kindness (Bark) for the event. Each recipient also received a card from Bark, encouraging them to continue what the cafe had started, doing an act of kindness themself for someone they know or have never met before.
In a time where most people take small acts such as this for granted, one woman truly appreciated the gesture more than could be expected. The woman, who was the final customer to receive a free coffee at the cafe, had been helping her mother who had fallen seriously ill in the past two months. She told Matt Everard, creator of Bark:
"I received a coffee, but more importantly a friendly, caring hug as I've really had a bad time for the last eight weeks. My mum has been seriously ill and nearly died, I've been to hospital every single day. The owner informed she was handing me the coffee, the card from Bark and told me why. I cried and told the owner and her staff my story. They were so lovely and gave me so much love, it made my day."
Mrs Anderson said that the day was a great chance for the coffee shop to "spread a bit of happiness to hopefully start a chain reaction or just brighten people’s day." She said:
"We really enjoyed handing out the bark cards along with their free coffee, and seeing people’s reactions when they went to pay. Some people seemed to think there was a catch as nothing is free nowadays, but once we explained the concept of Bark, they were delighted and surprised and thought it was a great idea. Towards the end of the day, when we gave out our final Bark free coffee, the lady went to pay and when we told her the coffee was free, she became quite emotional and overwhelmed and said she was so grateful for the kindness, as she had been having such a tough time recently. We chatted with her for a while, it gave her the chance to tell us her difficult situation. It was wonderful that the last Bark went to such a deserving lady who just needed a little kindness."
To find out more about Billericay Acts of Random Kindess (BARK), visit the Facebook page.
Article by The Echo