The kindness spread by one young man at an Edmonton coffee shop is spreading like wildfire.
After the anonymous man bought 500 coffees for perfect strangers at an Edmonton Tim Hortons, the bold act of generosity was repeated again at a Calgary Timmy's and later at a Tim Hortons in Ottawa.
The first act of copy-cat kindness took place when a man walked into the Crowfoot-area Tim Hortons in Calgary on Wednesday morning and prepaid for 500 large coffees at a cost of nearly $900, according to Global Calgary. In essence the five hundred coffees purchased after him, were handed out for free.
“He didn’t do it for recognition, just did it strictly…to lift the spirits of Calgary," Kelli, the location's manager, told Global Calgary.
“After everything we’ve gone through, all the floods and everything, [he was] just trying to lift the spirits and make people have a little bit of a bigger smile on their face today.”
According to staff, the man was inspired by an incident that took place at an Edmonton Tim Hortons along Jasper Avenue on Monday morning.
In that instance, a young man described only as being in his mid-to-late 20s, entered the store, ordered a large double-double and a Boston cream doughnut, and posed a question.
"He asked the cashier, 'how many coffees do you sell in a day?' " said store manager Joanne Averion.
Then he asked her to ring in 500 large coffees.
Staff at that location said they tried questioning the man as to the motive behind his act of kindness but he said little and left immediately after paying up the $859 tab.
The random act of kindness has now spread beyond provincial boundaries, as the exact same thing happened on Thursday at an Ottawa Tim Hortons.
Manager Melissa Dass says the free coffee copycat came into the Ottawa restaurant Thursday morning and made a similar gesture.
Customers paying it forward for coffees are seen fairly regularly at her location, but Dass says she's never seen such a large amount paid before.
Dass says the man also wanted to remain anonymous.
In a fourth instance, 500 coffees at the Easthill Tim Hortons in Red Deer were paid for, BIG 105, a local radio station reported.
An anonymous man who bought the coffee called Global News to share the news, saying his wife and him were inspired when they heard about the growing trend, Global News reported.
With files from the Canadian Press