Posted Thursday April 4, 2013 --- 5:15 p.m.
Today Baker's Window on State Street started giving away coffee and pastry items. But not just anyone can claim the free goods. They're specifically giving the items away to those who otherwise would not be able to afford them.
It's a small gesture with profound potential. Starting today Baker's Window on the 100 block of State Street is offering their customers more than just a hot beverage or tasty pastry. They're offering them a chance to pay it forward. All for the price of a small cup coffee.
According to the store's manager Kristina Stanley they are the first store in Madison to offer "suspended items."
So the way it works is a customer comes in and buys something.
At that same time they're given the option of buying a coffee or pastry for someone in need to claim in the future.
Stanley says, " It's a very simple way to give people an opportunity to pay it forward and do something kind for a stranger. "
Once the purchase is complete a green or blue pebble is placed in a clear container near the cashier. Then someone in need can come in and claim the free item by reaching into the container and turning in the pebble.
According to Stanley they don't have a way to prove if the customer is really in need. They'll just have to take people's word. But there are some rules. Like you can only claim one free item per visit.
" If somebody we thought was abusing the system I would probably personally have a conversation with them about it., " says Stanley.
According to Stanley the program seemed like a natural fit since they see so many people in need just outside their front door.
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