Caffeine copycat? 500 free coffees given away in Ottawa, Calgary, Edmonton
Published Thursday, July 25, 2013 2:14PM EDT
Last Updated Thursday, July 25, 2013 10:55PM EDT
Call it a triple-triple: An Edmonton man seems to have started a nationwide trend of giving away 500 free Tim Hortons coffees after similar random acts of caffeinated kindness were repeated in Calgary and Ottawa this week.
None of the Tim Hortons coffee crusaders have been identified.
In the latest act of coffee kindness, an Ottawa man on Thursday paid for $860 worth of coffee for the next 500 customers at the city’s Terminal Avenue location.
Manager Melissa Dass told CTV News that customers and staff were “shocked” by the gesture.
“We were all, ‘is this for real?’ Because it doesn’t happen every day.”
The donated coffees ran out in less than an hour.
According to Tim Hortons spokesperson Michelle Robichaud, the Ottawa Good Samaritan is a city bus supervisor who is retiring soon.
And she insisted that the latest coffee giveaway – the third in the last four days – is not a publicity stunt. “As brilliant as this is, I can assure that Tim Hortons has nothing to do with the Good Samaritans that have been purchasing coffees across the country,” Robichaud said.
Earlier this week, a Calgary man entered a Tim Hortons location on Crowfoot Crossing and paid for 500 medium coffees for the next 500 customers.
"I was blown away," manager Kelli Urquhart told CTV Calgary. “The random act of kindness that he did today -- just amazing.”
Urquhart said the unidentified man wanted to “lift the spirits” of Calgarians after floods last month washed out the city, destroying thousands of homes.
"His reasoning was that Calgary has been through so much with the floods and everything," Urquhart said.
Staff at the Calgary Tim Hortons said the man is a regular at the restaurant; he comes into the chain once in a while, but they do not know his name.
But it was another Alberta man who was responsible for the original coffee giveaway.
Staff at a downtown Edmonton Tim Hortons location on Monday said a man in his mid-to-late 20s walked in to order a large double-double and a Boston cream doughnut before asking the cashier to also ring in 500 large coffees for the next customers.
The man did not say why he was donating the coffees. According to the location's manager, Joanne Averion, he left quickly after paying the $859 bill with his debit card.
“(The staff) were thinking maybe he was so blessed that he wanted to share his blessing, or maybe he won the lotto or something," Averion said.
She said it took until 8 a.m. the next day to give out the 500 free coffees.
The company won’t release the surveillance videos from any of the locations.
Robichaud believes the latest charitable acts in Ottawa and Calgary were sparked by the first donation in Edmonton.
"We are thrilled that this first very generous act of kindness in Edmonton has created somewhat of a snowball effect across the country,” she said.
"If ever there was going to be a copycat, this is the one you would want."