Ellie Walker, from Leeds works at Sainsbury’s and realised one of her customers was going to spend Christmas alone so she invited him on a ‘date’ to compensate.
Edwin Holmes, aged 86, arrived looking dapper in his suit and of course arrived with flowers ‘because I wasn’t going to go empty handed’.
Mr Holmes is a retired painter and decorator, working for 62 years in his professional from the age of 14 until he retired aged 76.
His wife passed away in 2006 after 45 years of marriage and although he does have a daughter she lives in Australia with his two grandchildren.
Ms Walker told The Sun:
‘He is without a shadow of a doubt my favourite customer.
‘He is the cutest man and so chatty. I thought if it was my granddad and he was alone I would want someone to talk to him.
‘I see him regularly now and we meet for coffee. It’s nice to be able to chat with him.’
Mr Holme who lives in sheltered housing nearby after the dinner said:
‘The dinner made me very happy as it was unexpected and I had very pleasant company.
‘As for the suit, it was my first date for about 55 years, and [I got] the flowers because I wasn’t going to go empty handed.’
Ms Walker posted about her experience to Sainsbury’s intranet, saying:
‘Last night I had the privilege of going on a Christmas dinner date with a very special gentleman.
‘Edwin is one of our most loyal customers and although he doesn’t spend thousands of pounds he is valued within store by both staff and other customers.
‘He has no immediate family and he mentioned a few weeks ago that he would be spending Christmas alone with a frozen ready meal.
‘The thought of him being on his own at such a special time breaks my heart and if I could take him home with me I would (pls Mum?).
‘So last night on behalf of Sainsburys I took Edwin for Christmas dinner in the store cafe.
‘He came in all dressed up and presented me with flowers. Such a lovely night with a lovely man. I’m so grateful to have met you Edwin thank you for making my life brighter.’