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Category7-Eleven Heroes

Mission Impossible Turns into Christmas Miracle

A simple request from a caring mother became a mission for Coos Bay, Oregon, Franchise Owner Bill Huffman.

After suffering the loss of a family member during the holiday season, a 7-Eleven customer had one request to bring some normalcy back into the lives of her son and daughter-in-law. Blackberry Smash Brisk Tea by Pepsi. The exclusive 7-Eleven flavor appeared to be available in Oregon, but not in Idaho where the couple lives.

The customer, who was a healthcare worker pulling double shifts, submitted a request on the 7-Eleven website. The Voice-of-the-Customer team then contacted Oregon Franchise Owner Bill Huffman and asked if he could help her locate a case of the flavored tea for the grieving couple. Locating the product proved to be a challenge, however, since the limited-time flavor had sold out in most stores. Bill called her back and left a message that he was working to find the beverage.

“I’m so amazed at the quick response from you and your company,” the customer texted back. “I honestly did not think that I would be acknowledged. It seems trivial, but this was their one request. After all we’ve been through, I pray that this can happen.”

Determined to make the couple’s Christmas wish come true, Bill called Zone Merchandising Leader Kris Bill for help. Kris jumped into action and contacted her Pepsi representative to begin the hunt.

The task proved futile at first, but Kris told Bill, “Christmas miracles happen.”

Kris was right. Pepsi located and shipped six bottles of Blackberry Smash to the couple in Idaho before locating an entire case, which they also sent. Because of the tight timeframe, delivery was not expected until after Christmas. Bill let the customer know the product had been found.

About those miracles … “Hey Bill,” the grateful customer wrote on Christmas Day. “Just wanted to let you know that we not only received the six-pack today, but as we were on video chat in awe over this Christmas miracle you and your team pulled off, there was a knock on the door. It was the case you found! I got to watch my kids open it and see them smile. I was crying, they were crying. Again, I can’t thank you and your team enough for the effort y’all put into this.”

Zone Vice President Michelle Merrell recognized the team effort that went into granting this mom’s wish. “Bill took action immediately, having no idea this would turn out to be such an event,” Michelle said. “He made all the right contacts and kept the customer informed. Even though she was on vacation, Kris stepped into action determined to spread joy to a family she didn’t even know. Both Kris and Bill are perfect examples of being customer obsessed. Their genuine kindness and ‘It Can Be Done’ attitude bonded these people and 7-Eleven for life. And if not for the actions of Pepsi, one of our great vendors, this story wouldn’t have a happy ending.”

For all those reasons, we recognize and thank Bill and Kris … and Pepsi … for being true 7-Eleven Heroes.