Anyone can tell you that Christmas is all about giving, even if it is to complete strangers.
Michelle Perault is the owner of RoRo’s Restaurant in Bay City, Michigan. It had been a long time dream of hers to open up a restaurant, and she had used every penny she had to open this place—nothing was going to stop her from doing this. The first few months for a restaurant are usually pretty rough as it takes time for the word to spread and build clientele.
Opening a restaurant is tough, but Perault was determined to make it a success.
It had nothing to do with the quality of the restaurant: RoRo’s has a 5-star rating on Facebook, and 5 stars on Yelp as well. Restaurant owners can attest that there are highs and lows of being in the food service industry, regardless of the reviews.
With all her money tied up in launching the restaurant, Perrault found herself in a tight spot financially.
She fell behind on her car payments, and it was getting to the point where her bank was calling her about it. Perrault was beginning to feel desperate. She pleaded with the market manager whom she was paying rent to, asking for more time to pay the rent.
She remained confident she would find success: “I know we can make it because we have great reviews. It was just a slow time for us,” she told MLive Michigan.
The market manager was sympathetic and wanted to help, so she reached out to other vendors in the market.
The word spread to the manager of a restaurant near RoRo’s, Greg Buzzard.
“We understand that all businesses have their ups and downs,” he told MLive Michigan. He knew what it was like to be in a struggling place, and didn’t want Perrault to feel so stressed. It had been his dream to run a restaurant too, so he didn’t want to see Perault’s dream crushed.
He decided to give her a Christmas gift she would never forget.
The emotional moment was caught on video.
The video cuts right to the chase, as it shows Buzzard holding up a receipt, and Perrault breaking down in tears shortly afterward.
It was a receipt from the bank, showing that Buzzard had paid $3,000 in late car payments for Michelle!
Perrault couldn’t be more grateful to have this person help her during a desperate time. She hugged Buzzard and everyone else in the restaurant, the whole time tears streaming down her face.
Buzzard went to great lengths to make sure he had the money, even going as far as telling his three children, aged 10, 13, and 20, that they would skip Christmas this year for the sake of helping Perrault.
It’s a big favor to ask children, regardless of age, to give up a significant gift-receiving holiday like Christmas, but Buzzard said that they were on board with it too.
Their father had taught them that “Christmas isn’t about presents under the tree … it’s about taking care of other people.” And their Christmas this year was dedicated to making sure Perrault’s dream was kept alive.
“How do you even thank someone for that?” she said. Perrault, who was in a very tough financial situation, can now not worry about spending the holidays potentially broke and carless.
All thanks to Greg Buzzard’s family, Perrault can live to fight another day and look towards the future of her business.