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Phoenix Dairy Queen owners honored for their kindness to customers

Bill and Joanna Cipriani aren't your typical small business owners.

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Jason Barry
PHOENIX, AZ — Bill and Joanna Cipriani aren't your typical small business owners.

Sure, they want the Dairy Queen they run to make money, but their first priority is to their customers and community.

"Everybody is a customer," said Bill Cipriani. "One day they may not have money, the next day they may have tons of money. They're still a human being."

The Dairy Queen off Northern Avenue and 27th Avenue in Phoenix is known for more than whipping up the best blizzards.

Kindness and compassion are provided free of charge to anyone who walks in.

This Dairy Queen happens to be located near a lower income neighborhood, where a number of homeless people, down on their luck, will wander in looking for a place to cool off.

"Somebody comes in, and they're short, or don't have it at all, we take care of them," said Joanna Cipriani. "We do our best to make sure they have something in their stomach when they walk away."

Bill Stoutenger has been coming to this Dairy Queen for the past two years, and it's not just because he loves ice cream.

He's seen, even in tough times, how Bill and Joanna Cipriani keep helping others.

"It doesn't change their charity, it doesn't change their heart," said Stoutenger. "That's what I think Pay It Forward is all about. They give from the heart, and they should be acknowledged because we need more of that."

Stoutenger reached out to CBS 5 to Pay It Forward to the Dairy Queen franchise owners, whose generosity is melting hearts.

A CBS 5 news crew was there for the big surprise.

"I come in and see how wonderful you treat people," said Stoutenger. "The homeless anybody is never turned away, and on behalf of myself our customers and Channel 5 Pay it Forward, I'd like to present you with a token of appreciation and $500."

"It's definitely more important to do the right thing," said Bill Cipriani.

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