Paying it forward 1 cone at a time

By Gretchen Teske, The JOURNAL


The Korner Kremery found themselves hosting an impromptu pay-it-forward event on Wednesday. A customer paid for his treats then left money for the customer behind him, paying it forward. Transactions like this continued for over an hour, the longest one they?ve had yet.

?You can tell it makes people feel good that a stranger is thinking of them,? says manager Bryce Rickey. A pay-it-forward event begins with one customer covering the cost of the next person in line. Events like this have become more and more popular across the United States with a foundation of the same name beginning to promote it. The idea is to keep spreading the good forutune for as long as possible to reach and positively impact as many people as possible by using the money they would have spent on themselves, on a stranger.

Each time these pay-it-forward events start at the Korner Kremery, they?re completely organic. It all begins with one customer volunteering to pay for another. Workers would not tell the next customer, and just let them order as they would usually. When they came to the counter, they would explain that someone else had already paid for their order. ?They were really happy,? Rickey said of customers? reactions to the news. ?There was a mom who came in with five kids and you can tell she was really surprised, but she was definitely happy.? He said most people would leave what they owed, or more, to cover the next person with no prompting from cashiers.

In the four years he has worked there, Rickey says these goodwill events seem to be happening more and more this year. Rickey estimates this to be the third one they?ve seen. He says that one ended when a customer didn?t have enough money to cover the person behind them?s order but when they came back the next time, that customer started the chain again. ?It makes me feel good and hopeful to see it firsthand,? he said. ?You hear about it but never really see it. I?ve never had anyone pay it forward for me, but it?s really cool to see.?