EAST LANSING, Mich. — The workers at Stateside Deli in Okemos are thankful for a generous and unexpected gift from a regular customer.
“Everybody is happy. They were surprised, pleasantly surprised. Some it came through more for others. Some needed it and it really came through,” said Steve Soka, owner of the Stateside Deli.
Soka has owned and operated Stateside Deli since 2008. He says the community has embraced his business and supported it.
Soka has regulars who come in for Jewish-style sandwiches piled high with tasty meats like corned beef and pastrami and other dishes.
But one of his customers is going the extra mile to show her appreciation by tipping his workers in a big way.
“She doesn’t say much at all. She comes in and eats. She felt the generosity to donate $1000 to the employees just like she did last year,” Soka said.
Soka says he doesn’t know much about this regular customer except that her name is Joanne, she likes to read her newspaper while eating and appreciates a good meal.
“For years, she got a hot dog with a potato salad. I ended up removing that. She got something else. She found a new favorite, I ended up removing it. So now she’s mixing it up. She does omelets. She does different breakfasts,” Soka said.
All of the workers we spoke to were too shy to go on camera to say what Joanne’s gift meant to them but off-camera one said she’d been waiting tables for over 25 years and had never received at tip that big.
Soka said he has between 15 to 18 employees. Everyone walked away with about $50 dollars from Joanne’s holiday tip.
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