Lily Robinson wrote a letter seeking an answer to a question that bothered her for ages, and for a 3-year-old, that was saying something. Whenever Lily spotted Sainsbury’s Supermarkets famous tiger bread, something just didn’t sit well with her, and she couldn’t let it go. The popular bread from the U.K. supermarket chain has a distinctive pattern, and as far as young Lily could tell, it didn’t resemble a tiger. Not one bit.
When one of her parents pulled out a loaf of tiger bread at mealtime, Lily’s sense of justice was triggered. How could Sainsbury’s think this loaf with its distinctive crackled top looked even remotely tiger-like?
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So, after Lily’s repeated questions about the seemingly inaccurately named tiger bread, her parents suggested she write to the supermarket for answers. They helped set her up on the computer to oversee the process, but really, the content was all Lily.
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“Dear Sainsssssssssssssssssssbbbbbbbbbbbburyyys,” Lily began. “Why is tiger bread c/alled tiger bread? It should be c/alled giraffe bread. Love from Lily Robinson age 3 ½.” For good measure, she closed with two drawings: a tiger and her imaginary dog Beaky.
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Lily’s parents helped her mail the letter, fostering her curiosity in this simple-sweet way. Maybe the store would write back? Either way, they didn’t think much about what would happen as a result of their daughter’s charming correspondence.
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Several days later, Lily’s envelope arrived at Sainsbury’s Supermarkets where it came across the desk of customer manager Chris King. Of all the mail that reached his desk, Lily’s letter really stood out.
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King felt Lily’s inquiry, while adorable, also made a fair point. He quickly worked out his response. “It is called tiger bread because the first baker who made it a looong time ago thought it looked stripey like a tiger. Maybe they were a bit silly.”
He continued, “I think renaming tiger bread giraffe bread is a brilliant idea – it looks much more like the blotches on a giraffe than the stripes on a tiger, doesn’t it?” Then, he signed his return “Chris King (age 27 & 1/3).”
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Rather amused, King enclosed a small gift card for Lily to treat herself to something the next time she visited Sainsbury’s. In his eyes, any kid proactive enough to seek answers like that deserved a reply, and so, he sent his off.
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Shortly after, Lily and her family received Chris King’s reply and were appropriately delighted. Not only did she have the agreement of an adult professional, but her curiosity paid off in the form of a £3 gift card.
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Lily’s mom Lucy posted about her daughter’s good-natured exchange with the guy from Sainsbury’s on her personal blog. The family also shared it on Facebook where it was an instant hit. Subsequently, Lily’s tiger bread letter was posted on Twitter and went viral.
It garnered a lot of attention for Sainsbury’s Supermarkets, who appreciatively took Lily’s suggestion to heart. They commented on the viral letter, “We take all our customers’ feedback very seriously but our employees can have some fun occasionally.”
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In fact, Sainsbury’s rode the good press wave, following it up with a big announcement. They’d taken Lily’s suggestion to heart and decided to rename tiger bread as giraffe bread! In their statement, they thanked her “for helping us see the spots for what they are.”
Some doubted the legitimacy of the whole Lily and Sainsbury dynamic, calling it an engineered PR stunt. Lucy squashed those theories on her blog. While it might be unusual to think of a three-year-old as so sharp and inquisitive, that’s just Lily’s nature.
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While her family remains cautious of becoming an exploitive feel-good story, it was fun for Lily to see the result of her action on store shelves. “She was so excited and couldn’t stop giggling in the car after that,” Lucy wrote in her blog.
Lily decided to let this jewel of a branding idea go for free. However, her parents encouraged appreciative fans to do some tangible good by donating to the Disasters Emergency Committee charities “to help feed starving children who do not have bread to eat.”
Chris King told HuffPost UK, “I feel great for Lily, imagine being that age and learning to read then seeing how big an impact your letter has made. I’m sure her family is very proud.”
In response to the praise he received, he said, “It’s great to know that it’s put a smile on so many people’s faces, it was just a daft wee thing I did as I wanted to make sure this wee girl, who’d done brilliantly typing up her letter, got a nice reply.”
Since his charming correspondence with Lily, Chris King took his life in a new direction. Representatives from Sainsbury’s told the BBC that he’s no longer is with the company. He coincidentally left to pursue a career as a primary school teacher.
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Whether Lily intends to continue down the path of becoming a budding Peggy Olson marketing genius, remains to be seen. Her parents decided they would hang up their letter-writing quills in their house to remain out of the limelight.
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People pointed to the impossibility of a child like Lily coming up with a smart observation all on her own, but that’s a discredit to kids, who are uniquely poised to make important people see reason. It worked for one girl who saw a gap in a lucrative market.
Global Citizen / Under Armour
At 9 years old, Riley Morrison from Napa, California, had already fallen in love with sports. In 2018, her love for one team — and one player in particular — catapulted her into the national spotlight.
You’d be hard pressed to find a bigger basketball fan than Riley. She had a hoop at home she took shots on — often by herself, rain or shine — and played point guard for her school’s team.
Living in northern California, Riley came to love watching her Golden State Warriors thrash their NBA competition. She and her dad Chris rarely ever missed a game, whether they watched on TV or cheered in person at the Warrior’s Oracle Arena.
And for a student and lover of basketball, the Warriors were a delight to watch. As someone who wanted to perfect her point guard game, Riley had one player she admired most…
Steph Curry! The Warriors’ star point guard has collected a trophy case full of NBA championships and MVP awards. He’s arguably the most exciting player in basketball — unless you’re a LeBron James fan, of course.
Watching the Warriors star tear up the court, Riley wanted to be just like Steph. She couldn’t play like him just yet — that would take a growth spurt and a lot more practice — but there was one way she could mimic her idol’s game.
In November of 2018, she decided to step into Steph’s shoes (literally). Riley had her heart set on a pair of his signature kicks, the Icon Curry 5 sneakers produced by the sporting gear giant Under Armour. Unfortunately, her heart broke later that day.
Seeing that the online store hawked all kinds of Curry swag, Riley eagerly scrolled through the website. It sold tons of different colors and patterns of the Curry 5’s, but Riley noticed a disappointing detail.
The shoe variety ended with color and pattern. Riley could not find a single pair of the shoes in girls’ sizes. This revelation was tough for the 9-year-old to swallow.
Riley only wanted to emulate her idol by buying his sneakers, and yet she couldn’t — all because of her gender. Sure, Riley knew this wasn’t the worst discrimination women had faced, but it seemed unthinkable in this day and age.
Meanwhile, even the dopiest boy basketball players could get their hands on any pair of shoes they wanted. Riley realized that other girls must have found themselves in the same predicament. She decided to do something about it.
In a gutsy move, Riley chose to go straight to the man himself. She penned a heartfelt letter to Steph Curry detailing her experience and asking for a change. As a big fan, she felt confident that Curry would agree with her based on his personal background.
Riley’s letter read like this: “Dear Stephen Curry. My name is Riley (just like your daughter)…I asked my dad to buy me the new Curry 5s because I am starting a new basketball season).” Clearly, she’d done her research!
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For one thing, Steph is a proud father to two daughters, one of whom does indeed share Riley’s name! The basketball phenom often brings them to NBA events, and he has publicly advocated for a better future for girls their age. Her letter continued.
NBA / Andrew Bernstein
“I visited the website,” she wrote. “And was disappointed there were no Curry 5s for sale under the girl’s section. However, they did have them for sale under the boy’s section, even to customize.” She wasn’t finished.
“I know you support girl athletes because you have two daughters and you host an all-girls basketball camp.” She signed off with a simple note: “Girls want to rock the Curry 5s, too.”
Clearly, Riley understood her audience perfectly. Curry had once said, “I want [my daughters] to grow up in a world where their gender does not feel like a rulebook for what they should think, or be, or do. And I want them to grow up believing that they can dream big, and strive for careers where they’ll be treated fairly.”
That’s why Steph indeed founded an all-girls basketball camp. Always looking to provide young women with more opportunities to succeed, he is an athlete who uses his public platform for good. But would he even read some random fan letter?
As luck would have it, Riley’s letter made it on to social media channels; there, people sympathetic to Riley’s troubles helped push the letter to Steph’s various pages.
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That was how Stephen Curry, busy as he was in the thick of an NBA season, received Riley’s letter. He read the hand-written letter over and digested all it had to say.
And he was completely mortified about his shoes’ biased availability. It seemed Riley was right to suspect that her idol really did care about the women’s issues he fought so hard for! Steph knew he had to do something.
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He called up his management, and they discussed how to right this biased wrong. A few moments on the phone was all it took for the NBA superstar to come up with the perfect solution to Riley’s dilemma…
“We are correcting this now!” Steph said before sitting down with some pen and paper of his own. This way, he could deliver a truly personal response to Riley.
Still in a funk a couple days later, Riley slunk back home from school. However, her parents dropped a huge surprise on her. A smile quickly returned to Riley’s face as she read over a handwritten response from Steph Curry.
In the letter, the Warriors phenom said that he was working with Under Armour to correct the sizing issue, and he thanked Riley for bringing the issue to his attention. He also wanted to reward his super-fan for taking such a bold stand.
Twitter / Steph Curry
Steph promised Riley that he’d send her a pair of Curry 5s very soon, but he didn’t stop there. He also pledged that Riley would be one of the first kids in the world to get the Steph Curry 6s, his latest shoe model. Nobody on Earth owned it yet!
What a huge victory for Riley! With the sick kicks in hand and the assurance that Curry’s shoes would be available in all sizes, she could have rested easy. But Steph then posed an unexpected question for her.
To cap it all off, he asked Riley to join him on court in Oakland for International Women’s Day! The Warriors would celebrate girl power and the unifying nature of sports during that game. Steph couldn’t think of any better representative than the brave nine-year-old.
Reuters / Kim Kyung-Hoon
Of course, Riley accepted the invitation without a second thought. She couldn’t have expected such a huge response from her letter, but she sure felt glad she went through with it. And not just for herself, but for all girls.
Steph certainly got a lot of satisfaction from the experience too. Riley allowed him to make a real difference for his family and women everywhere. Steph has heard tons of supporters applaud him over the years. But this time around, the superstar was clapping for a fan.
The post 3-Year-Old Girl Spots A Concerning Detail About Store’s ‘Tiger Bread,’ Quickly Writes Them A Letter appeared first on Eternally Sunny.