Baristas at a Texas Starbucks sprung into action to make sure a local teenager was OK when a man she didn’t know approached her — and now their actions are going viral.
The 18-year-old's mother, Brandy Roberson, shared the story on her Facebook page on Friday and posted a photo of the baristas' clever message to her daughter: a handwritten note on a coffee cup.
“Are you okay? Do you want us to intervene? If you do, take the lid off the cup,” the message read.
The Texas resident told TODAY Food that her daughter, who wishes to remain anonymous, was studying by herself at a Starbucks in Corpus Christi on a Saturday night.
“She wanted to get out of the house and go sit and study somewhere. She likes to go study at coffee shops,” she wrote in an email.
In her Facebook post, Roberson explained that a barista handed her daughter “an extra hot chocolate someone forgot to pick up” after the stranger started talking to her.
The teenager told her mother about the incident as soon as she got home and it warmed her heart.
"She was holding the cup and knew that I would love that someone did that for her," Roberson said. "It made me feel so grateful that the Starbucks employees were watching out for her. As a mom, that is my worst fear that something would happen to my child and nobody would be there to help."
Roberson’s daughter told her that the adult man lingered for a while and talked “fairly loudly.”
“It sounded like he was quite animated. I believe this is what alerted the employees. He had also not come in with my daughter, so they knew she probably did not know him,” she explained.
The teenager appreciated the barista's kind gesture and let them know that she felt safe. Eventually, the man became aware that she was communicating with the staff and went about his business, leaving the 18-year-old alone.
TODAY reached out to Starbucks for further detail, but the company declined to comment.
Roberson said she didn't think her story would go viral, and that she only wanted to express her gratitude for the thoughtful employees. But she's glad it's put a positive spotlight on local workers.
"I am incredibly grateful to the staff there. I hope that we can all learn from them and be willing to help anyone who seems that they might need help," she said.