Pay it forward still going strong at Sturgis drive-thru

STURGIS, S.D. (KOTA TV) - Thousands of people have paid it forward for over a year now. The tradition started in 2015 when one woman would visit Rev It Up Espresso and pay it forward daily. One day someone ended up turning the tables on her.

"A gal came in right before Sandy and paid it forward... it brought tears to her eyes because someone bought her one and they said well let's keep it going so I'll pay for the next one and then when I shared that with the next car they said we'll we will pay for ours and essence pay for the next one" said Michael Smith, Rev It Up Espresso owner.

Smith says many customers are regulars and understand how it works, asking what number he is at now. By March 2016 more than 5,000 people had paid it forward. But the tradition broke when they had four visitors who didn't understand and ended up taking their free coffee.

"When I realized it was over I put up a sign that said ‘The pay it forward ended March 24 after 5,548 participated. Thank you for being a part of such a great run.’ One of the customers that morning ... said well let's get it started again so he gave me an extra five dollars and it started up again,” said Smith.

Since then, the tradition has been going strong. More than 7,550 people now have paid it forward.

Rev It Up is located at 2200 Junction Ave. in Sturgis.