Panera Worker Gifts Woman ‘Warm Bread And Butter’ After She Goes Through The Drive-Thru Crying

“Warm bread and butter heals the soul.”

Woman looking upset while sitting in her car. Jose Carlos Cerdeno / CanvaPro

We’ve all been there — sitting in our cars, sad playlist blasting, coping with something unimaginable in the parking lot of a random convenience store. It’s a universally solemn experience that we’ve all dealt with at some time — whether it was a breakup in high school or the loss of a loved one at 50. 

Returning to the basics — driving, sleeping, eating, breathing — can be helpful.  It’s what creator Sunfire Poppy on TikTok seemed to be doing when she found herself at Panera Bread for lunch. Crying in her car, she threw on a pair of sunglasses before reaching the drive-thru window.


However, the kind human waiting with her food quickly noticed she was upset and provided her with a sweet offering that couldn’t be described as anything less than healing.

This woman was shocked when a Panera worker offered her ‘warm bread and butter’ in the drive-thru after she’d been crying. 

“I could tell by the voice that this was the guy that’s worked there forever,” Poppy said after she ordered in the drive-thru. 



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"He’s an older gentleman. When I pulled up … he looked at me and said, ‘You look like somebody that could use some warm bread and butter.’” 

Shocked by the warm sentiment and the kind remark of the stranger at the window, she agreed.

“I was wearing sunglasses. You could kind of see my eyes through them … I had just been crying.” 

The ‘older man’ told her stories of how warm bread reminded him of his parents and provided comfort — something he knew she needed. 

‘I just had my baguettes come out of the oven,” she recalled the man saying. “Would you like one?” As she sat with the bread and butter in hand, tears started to stream down her face again. “I said, 'Yeah,' that I could really use some comfort food.” 


“He told me that the smell of bread reminds him of his mom,” she added. “Growing up when he was a kid. He told me the story about his dad and how they’d arm wrestle for that piece of bread.” 

Panera Worker Gifts Woman Warm Bread And Butter After CryingPhoto: Ron Lach / CanvaPro

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Human connection and small favors are two things that we’ve slowly stopped integrating into our routines. As we worry and stress over the events in our lives, we forget that everyone else is living alongside us for the first time. They’re worrying, stressing, loving, grieving, and dreaming — as our neighbors, co-workers, peers, and friends. 

A small act of kindness can truly transform someone’s day

The Panera worker’s simple gift is a reminder that sometimes food can be healing. It’s exactly what this woman needed — warm bread and human connection. 

In an updated video, it’s clear that this woman’s experience was not the only transformative one. 

‘I love people who know what it means to be human and reach out to people,” one person honestly wrote in the comments. “Protect this man at all costs.” 


Others confessed to crying after watching the video, pointing out how “moving” and “emotional” this man’s empathy was. “Being a human is both so terrible and wonderful. I’m sending so much love to you and this man.” 



Poppy revealed in a video just days later that the Panera worker’s kindness stuck with her. After Panera saw her video and reached out to her, she felt compelled to help them celebrate the employee — “I am going to roll back through that drive-thru and show him some of these comments.” 

As wonderful and heartwarming as their experience was, it’s also a reminder of the healing power that so many simple things in our lives hold — warm bread, butter, a cup of coffee, or a dessert that we only enjoy a few times a year.


Grieving experts suggest that remembering to eat something or enjoy a bit of comfort food has serious healing powers in helping us to grow from loss, hurt, and trauma. 

Let this video remind you to be kind, gracious, and empathetic toward the people around you, strangers or not — and, of course, to keep fresh bread and butter stocked in case of an emergency. 

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Zayda Slabbekoorn is a News & Entertainment Writer at YourTango who focuses on health & wellness, social policy, and human interest stories.