MIDWEST CITY, Okla. (KFOR) – If you find yourself walking into the Crest Grocery Store in Midwest City, get ready. There is a big “Hellooooo!” waiting for you. Keonta King is the cart keeper and the greeter there, and he makes sure you’re welcomed into the store like royalty.
He says he comes by his warm, friendly nature naturally.
“From my dad…he always smiled,” Keonta told us. ” So, I said dad I want to be like you and he said, ‘Son, it’s nice you want to be like me…but I want you to be better than me.'”
And it’s not just the adults either. He high-fives the kids coming in as well.
“My kids love him,” one parent said. “Every time we come here, he’s always so excited. His energy is somethin’ else!”
His boss told us this about Keonta:
“Keonta’s been here for several years…he’s a great employee,” says store manager Jackie McCreary. “Loves his job. Loves making people smile. One of the more energetic, all-around happy people. Great guy.”
His supervisor Tonya agrees.
“You can come in in a bad mood and everything, but you’ll leave out in a good mood because of this man right here,” pointing to Keonta.
And if he’s not at the store, the regulars always ask about him. To make sure he’s okay. They even bring him little gifts. The day we were there, a woman brought him a bag of warm, homemade peanut brittle.
“Oh, thank you. God bless you,” Keonta said.
For what he does, regular customer Paula Semmler nominated Keonta for Pay It 4ward.
“It doesn’t matter the day of the week you come in here,” Paula said. “This young man is always full of happiness, a spirit and greeting everyone that comes through. He’s just got a very pleasant attitude.”
After we received the $400 Pay It 4ward cash prize from Pam Bollman of First Fidelity Bank, we surprised Keonta with it.
When Paula presented Keonta with the $400 and an appreciative hug, Keonta looked at her with tears in his eyes and said, “Ok thank you! God bless you! God Bless you! Thank you so much!”
Keonta says he will use the money to help his savings account he’s building to buy a house.
Keonta King…Pay It Forward one greeting at a time.
“I like to see people smile… no matter how early it is…I’m too blessed to have stress.”