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AMES, Iowa -- Dennis Folden, COO of Kum & Go convenience stores, had an idea after a local television station aired a news story about motorists being stopped by trains in Boone, Iowa.
"[He said,] 'If they were waiting that long, they should have drinks,'" Jen Merryman of a Kum & Go store in Boone told The Tribune.
Last Friday, as cars would stop at the railroad tracks for passing trains, Boone Kum & Go employees began approaching the vehicles and offering the drivers coffee and soda.
Although recent improvements in train lengths by the Union Pacific Railroad are giving drivers a shorter wait at the stop, the store employees still took advantage of the time they had to offer drivers a 20-ounce bottle of fruit-flavored soda or a cup of coffee.
Employees wore coffee dispensers on their backs. "Our district manager's manager stopped in yesterday afternoon with this," employee Patrick Hastie told the newspaper. "It's a jetpack that you fill up with coffee and then use the nozzle and just shoot it in the cups."
The beverage offerings seemed to go over well with Boone drivers; the jetpack ran out of coffee by midmorning Friday.
"It's pretty crazy," Hastie said. "We just ran out of coffee a minute ago and we're getting ready to go reload."
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