Cupcake Cafe: Adding Some Sweetness to the Community in More than One Way

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This last February, a man known as “Mr. Keith” stopped into the famous Cupcake Cafe. Mr. Keith had come to the cafe, to order his wife a birthday cake in advance. He told Cafe owner Theresa Tazewell, after some conversation, that he was undergoing a surgery for the second time, and he was worried he would not survive the second surgery. He told Theresa that he didn’t want his wife to have to worry about buying her own cake in the event he didn’t survive his surgery.

It was at this point that Theresa decided that she was going to record the conversation so that if he didn’t survive, Theresa could show his wife the video. Theresa wanted Mr. Keith’s wife to know the lengths her husband was willing to go for her. He had even brought in a photo of what he wanted his cake to look like. You can view the original TikTok video here:

@cupcake_lady_

Pray for this man. He must be protected at all costs!!! His surgery is March 1st. Right here in Palm Coast. He also said he wouldn’t make me wait until the 11th (when his cake is due) to let me know he’s ok! When i get an update, you will too!! #prayersneeded #vet #militaryveteran #lovehim #loveourcustomers #cupcakes #cupcakeshop #bakery #palmcoast #florida #palmcoastflorida #smallbusiness #supportsmallbusiness #cupcakelady

♬ original sound – cupcake_lady_

 

I had the pleasure of talking to Theresa today about the viral video, the experience, and how meeting “Mr. Keith” has changed her and the community. Below is the interview with Theresa.

 

Q: What made you film the encounter?  Theresa said she filmed it in case he passed away; she wanted his wife to know the lengths that he was willing to go to take care of the little things for her. Theresa said, “She needs to know what he said, and what he was willing to do.”  She said she went back and forth about posting the video or not, and ultimately decided to post it, because she believes in the power of prayer. She said pray to whatever you believe in, send good vibes, whatever, just pray for him because she believes there is power in prayer.

Q: What prompted you to help this man? I asked Theresa, what exactly made her want to help this man, and she gave me the details that led up to the video. She said, “He came in and came right up to the counter and asked, ‘Do you make cakes?’ ” Theresa said she did, within reason. He asked her if they delivered, to which she replied no why? Why can’t you pick it up? That is when he explained that he wasn’t sure he would be around to pick it up. Initially Theresa said, she thought he was going on a trip, and it wasn’t until he said no I might be dead before I can pick it up. This stopped Theresa in her tracks; she said, “I had to think about it for a minute, and that is when I turned the camera on and told him I was going to record this.” She had no idea this was going to go viral.

Q: Did you face any obstacles or negativity for this video and your actions? How did you overcome that?  Theresa replied, “Yes. Yes I did. I had people who said this was a publicity stunt, that Mr. Keith wasn’t real.” Theresa explained how she became very emotionally attached and invested in Mr. Keith. After the video was recorded, she said they sat in her cafe and talked for about half an hour, about life, his wife, Vietnam, and so much more. She said, “I was forming such a connection with this man, and he was becoming like family to me. This made is so tough at first to hear all the negativity that some people had about it all.”  She said at first it was hard to hear and see the negativity, but after she thought about it a bit, she was able to let go of the negativity and stop caring about all of that.

Q: How did all the recognition for this video and act of kindness make you feel?  “It’s crazy, it’s overwhelming. In February I had 37,000 followers, and today I have over 105,000 followers.” She said people are still sending cards for Mr. Keith and his recovery and birthday cards for his wife. She said it is crazy, people stop me and want to talk to me, they honk at me when driving and say “Hey it is the cupcake lady”.

Q: How did helping Mr. Keith and his wife impact you?  “He helped me, and he helped millions of people to believe that there is still good in the world” said Theresa. She said both Mr. Keith and his wife are truly incredible people. She was just the messenger, his actions and his words are what inspired everyone, according to Theresa.

Q: Did you impact Mr. Keith and his wife Angela? “Yeah, he told me that Saturday was one of the greatest days of his life.”  She said that when he came into her store, it was the first time ever for him. He had never tasted her cupcakes, visited her cafe, before this visit and now they are family.

Q: How do you think your actions have impacted or inspired the community? She said she hopes she inspires the community, people need to lead by example, and “treat people the way they deserve to be treated.” She said, “Everyone is always so angry, opinionated, and hateful; we need to see the good in the world.” “I try to do one good deed a day per person, even if it is just giving a cupcake to a kid”, Theresa said. She tries to impact the community through one person a day, by showing kindness and compassion and having a heart of gold. She said, “Mr. Keith was never going to pay for that cake.”

Q: How would you encourage your community to help others? “Listen to your inner voice; listen to your conscience; stop and help someone, have patience, be kind and do it without a phone in your hand.”  She said, “it costs zero dollars to be nice.” She went on to say that you can change someone’s day just by helping a struggling mom load groceries into her cart, or not laying on the horn because the car in front of you missed the green light.

You can watch the follow up videos at the links below.

@cupcake_lady_

Mr. Keith called and left 2 messages for me. One last night and one this morning. He’s alive and well and is looking forward to this cake! Thank you all so much for praying!!! God is good!!! #mrkeith #keithscake #Cupcake #cupcakes #CupcakeShop #PalmCoast #Florida #PalmCoastFlorida #cupcakelady

♬ original sound – cupcake_lady_

@cupcake_lady_

Thank you @shannonthrivinmomma1 for recording this for me so I can share it with everyone! I hope you enjoy! Thank you also to @flaglercountysheriff for coming over to show your support! It meant so much to Mr. Keith to be able to talk with everyone. You all mean so much to me #ThankYou #MrKeith #Keith #LoveYouAll #CupcakeShop #PalmCoast #Florida #PalmCoastFlorida #Cupcake #Cupcakes #CakeTok #CakeTikTok #CupcakeTikTok #CupcakeTok

♬ original sound – cupcake_lady_

By Krys DeWind

Krys DeWind has been a Flagler County resident since 2016. She is active in her community and is always looking for ways to better it. She has a community first attitude which is one of the central founding ideals of the Flagler County Buzz.

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