mike, thanks for posing that upbeat question! recently, i was working a horse trials event in southern north carolina at one of our coffee locations...a really nice man and his wife ran a tab for the 3 day duration of the equestrian event. they were always very polite, very appreciative, and also very busy with their business at hand of competing. each time they'd dash by, place an order, and say they'd be right back to pick it up. they'd run off, take care of a couple things, then come back for their after a few minutes. they had left a blank check to cover their tab, and on the last day while preparing to leave they stopped by once more for drinks, and then instructed me to add a $20 tip onto their tab!
Being told they wouldn't have survived chemotherapy without me and my coffee is by far the most memorable things a customer has done for me.
One of our best customers makes dinner for us and a couple other close friends every few months. He cooks all of the food himself. Last time it was fresh seared scallops, lamb chops, and slow roasted rib-eye with porcini mushrooms and shaved black truffles, and plenty of wine, including a wonderful Port from '86 with phenomenal aromatics. Great food is always a winner with me.
I had a customer who gave me a lot of house things. He left to travel for a year and said he was going to be giving some of his things away. I told him that I just got a new apartment, and he was like "oh?!" and ended up giving me a complete stoneware dish set, great goose-down comforter, and a few pieces of furniture among many other things. <3