HOUSTON -

An act of kindness caught shoppers by surprise at a Houston area grocery store.

After filling their carts, they learned a total stranger was picking up the tab.

Managers at the HEB at Highway 59 and Grand Parkway said the anonymous man walked up to a cashier on Saturday and told her he wanted pay for the next ten customers' groceries.

“She put my basket next the register and she said, 'This man is paying for it.' And I said, 'Why?' She said, 'I don't know... he's just paying for it,'” said customer Lauren Tucker.

“He just said he wanted to it, it was an act of kindness. And that's what he wanted to do,” said HEB Public Affairs Director Cyndy Garza-Roberts.

The gesture caught customers and employees by surprise. Destinie Rodgers was bagging groceries that day and said she'd never seen anything like it.

“When one of the ladies started crying, I got a little teary eyed. I thought, 'Oh my God, this is real. He's really doing this.' It was so nice,” said Rogers.

Tucker said she initially found it hard to accept the gift because she thought she should be the one helping the less fortunate.

“It did make me realize that the message he was trying to give is that it doesn't need to be somebody that has a financial need. We all need to stop and take a breath and realize we need to be kind to everybody... not just on Thanksgiving, but every day,” said Tucker.

Managers said the man paid for about $1,000 worth of groceries.