PHOENIX (3TV/CBS 5)-- A Valley woman is not only one of Fry’s Food Stores best customers, she’s one of the most caring. When she found out her favorite baker was facing tough times, she stepped in and nominated him for a helping hand and a dose of happiness.
“So, this surprise for a baker started two days ago, when we ordered a big cake,” said 3TV’s Olivia Fierro. “But before we pick it up, his supervisor’s going to ask him to put a name on the cake-his own!”
Roman’s co-workers describe him as awesome, positive and uplifting.
“He’s always smiling,” said Kat, the customer who nominated Roman. “So humble.”
“He’s gone through a lot of emotional turmoil between losing his mother, losing his girlfriend of ten years,” said Matt, Store Director, Fry’s Food Store on 91st Avenue and Peoria. “On top of that, his car broke down a week after he lost his mother.”
“This guy’s endured so much hardship,” said Kat. “No matter what he’s going through, he still has such a great smile on his face and is so positive.”
Armed with hidden cameras, Fierro waited for Roman in front of the bakery counter, while down the aisle, the Arizona Diamondbacks’ very own Baxter and an excited crowd hid out of sight.
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Roman emerged with the cake and immediately recognized Fierro and shouted back to his supervisor with excitement. Fierro thanked him for watching 3TV and told him that her own brother’s name was Roman and that the cake was for him.
Fierro asked Roman if he thought her brother would like the cake. He said yes, that it was a very good cake. She asked him if he would like the cake.
“I feel terrible to tell a lie, Roman,” said Fierro. “My brother’s name isn’t Roman, it’s Adam.”
“Surprise, Roman!” shouted the crowd.
“We are here as part of Arizona’s Family Surprise Squad, Roman!” said Fierro. “Just because you’re awesome!”
‘Roman! Roman! Roman!” the crowd chanted and applauded.
Roman laughed with joy.
“One of your customers, this is Kat, she’s so fond of you that she actually wrote in to the Surprise Squad and said, ‘this is a man who has the most incredible smile on his face all the time’,” said Fierro. “He’s been through some stuff personally, you’ve suffered two major losses and I’m so sorry to hear about that.”
“I lost my mother and my girlfriend that I had for ten years,” said Roman. “Susan, she was the most beautiful, she was my soulmate. Two months ago, my mother had passed away and then after we had buried her, then my vehicle breaks down. So, I’m struggling. I was struggling.”
“So, all within a year’s time?” said Fierro.
“Less than eight months apart,” said Roman.
“And in spite of that you’re bringing light into everybody’s life, every day at work and so she wanted us to know about you and thank goodness, she did,” said Fierro. “From one Kat to the bobcat, Mr. Baxter!”
Baxter walked up to Roman while the crowd cheered.
“I hear you’re a big D-backs fan!” said Fierro.
“Yes, I’m a D-backs fan!” laughed Roman. “A big D-backs fan!”
“We are so pleased that our friends at Arizona Diamondbacks, really immediately, were so enthusiastic to be part of this Surprise Squad,” said Fierro. “They knew you were a fan. They knew that you just deserve a great treat so guess what you’re going to do? Six dugout seats for a Diamondbacks game!”
“Oh, yeah!” said Roman while the crowd cheered. Baxter also presented Roman with a backpack full of team swag!
“Transportation, getting to work is a bear,” said Fierro handing Roman a small box. “We wanted to give you a little something that my may help to hold you over. That will help, won’t it? Five-hundred dollars in Uber credits! That way when you need to get around or you’re a little too late for the bus, whatever’s going on, that will help, right?”
“Yes!” said Roman with a big smile. “Thank you. I appreciate it. That’s really nice. Yeah, I’ve been struggling with that. It’s like a bomb dropped on me in the last year. I just wasn’t expecting it to all happen like this.”
“There might be double printing on that paper,” said Fierro, beckoning Roman to turn the Uber credit slip over.
Roman turned the paper over and let out a big gasp.
“What does that say?” asked Fierro.
“Three-thousand dollars!’ said Roman. “Wow! Oh, my god!”
“Three-thousand dollars courtesy of our Valley Toyota Dealers as our sponsor for Arizona’s Family Surprise Squad and we hope that will help you get started on a new car or the repairs that you need so that life can get just a little bit easier.”
“Oh, my goodness,” said Roman. “Thank you, Lord! Oh, thank you, guys. That’s the most wonderful thing I’ve ever had in my life. I’m very happy. Thank you. I sure could use that. Thank you, guys. I appreciate it. My store is a great store. I’ve been here almost ten years and it’s like a big family to me and I come in here every day with one-hundred and ten percent and treat everyone the way I would want to be treated. You got to be happy in life and live on and keep going. Keep going.”
A special thank you to our friends at Uber and the Arizona Diamondbacks for partnering with this surprise.
Arizona’s Family Surprise Squad is sponsored by your Valley Toyota Dealers.