Do you ever have days where everything goes wrong? I mean everything. How you respond to the world coming undone can make a or break everything?
The recipients of this month's Gr8 Acts of Kindness get that all too well—even on the day we were about to surprise them.
"It was stuck...totally stuck," Jake Moore said about the food truck that he operates with Jennifer Gibbs. Little did they know all of their friends planned a special surprise on their first day back in operation.
But, from the looks of it, The Happy Blend, would not be up and running anytime soon.
"Not just the truck, but the camper and the truck, which you need both of those to get it out," Gibbs explained.
Neither the truck, nor the camper, would budge from mud that had developed because of heavy rain the weekend before. So, the pair had to set up shop inside a friend's local business, Anytime Fitness, in Paragould. They set to work making bagels for the crowd working out inside. Using the power of positivity they're known for, Jenn and Jake never missed a beat.
Their customers saw a post on Facebook and still came.
"We'll do halves on this one," Jenn said as she worked from inside a small office space.
The pair are friends who came together for a business venture that –just like today—doesn't always go as planned. But, they give something that you don't find a lot of.
"It's just the hugs that you get," Lora Laubach, a Happy Blend customer, said. "They write a little message on each cup. They write a little message on each cup to each customer."
Blending happiness along the way... why that's the name of their business, "The Happy Blend."
"We just want one person at a time. Just one at a time," Jennifer Gibbs said. "We're going to change the world."
And we're about to change theirs on a rainy Monday morning when everything has gone wrong, a whole lot is about to go right. A throng on friends, family, customers and First Community Bank employees gather to surprise Gibbs and Moore. The line forms outside of Anytime Fitness and stretches inside to where The Happy Blend has set up their operations for the day.
The pair are shocked to see all of the people they know standing right before them with the lights of a bright TV camera trained down on them, too.
"Why are you all here?" Gibbs asks with astonishment on her face. I explain that they are the next winners in the Gr8 Acts of Kindness, sponsored by First Community Bank and KAIT-TV.
Gibbs sees Kacey Barnhill, who nominated her for the award and runs toward her giving her a big hug. Hugs are what the Happy Blend owners are known for.
"They're just positive people and when you go there, you leave feeling good about yourself," Barnhill said.
"There's so much negativity in this life," Gibbs said. "We just decided to open a business that doesn’t do through that route."
Gibbs is a single mother of six children and no stranger to tough times. She and Jake, who are long-time friends and business partners set out to change the world—one bagel at a time.
"They're no ordinary bagels, are they? Oh, no! They're fantastic bagels. Booyah!," Moore exclaimed. "I don't know how I came up with that name. I think it just probably happened. There's peanut butter for your protein, bananas and some sort of secret concoction or I'd have to kill you."
All made inside a renovated camper.
"It looked like a "Breaking Bad" camper," Gibbs said. "This camper was cream and orange."
But it was the pair's business philosophy that made the difference.
"The food truck is our cover to get to do the things that we want to do...which is speak to people's heart," explained Moore.
"So we would literally say... 'Diana, you matter. Have you heard that today? When was the last time you heard that?' And people would be like...'why would you say that to me?'" Gibbs said.
The pair also poses questions on a board outside their business.
"Tell us three characteristics about your hero. At the end of the day this board... oh, my gosh," Gibbs said. "I just sit there and cry because it's beautiful."
A business that's become a passion.
"What we found was that it didn't have anything to do with the number of sales," Gibbs said. "That every single person walking up to our truck had some kind of need in their life and this was outside of a protein shake."
"It's cool when what you put out into the universe come back to you," Moore said.
And a day that started mired in muck becomes the best one of all.
"I'm just stunned. The money is great! It's wonderful, please don't get me wrong," Gibbs said. "But every single one of those people standing out there. We love. They have stood by us through some tough times and we have stood by them through some tough times."
Good times and bad, Gr8 Acts of Kindness celebrates people like Jennifer and Jake who inspire others. If you know someone like this, nominate them for the Gr8 Acts of Kindness. Just go to www.kait8.com, look for the Community tab, click on Gr8 Acts of Kindness and fill out the form.