Luft Balloons, owned by Elaine Frei, has been surprising businesses all over Chicago with an assortment of balloons. Frie said it's her way of bringing joy and recognition to businesses who fought through the pandemic.
"We were trying to figure out who needs joy right now and it dawned on us that it's of course the small businesses that have persevered and have gotten through this entire pandemic and need a little uplift. They were expected to turn on that faucet right away after it just ended and its been a really rough road," said Frei.
Frei said Luft Balloons has about 200 deliveries to go, community members nominate businesses they think have impacted their neighborhoods.
On Tuesday, Frei balloon bombed Hexe Coffee and Hustle Fitness.
"It's just so nice to be I guess recognized by the community and know that our customers are so appreciative and seeing all the hard work the staff has put into it. It hasn't been the easiest year but you now we just kept our heads down and kept working trying to be good people and keep making coffee for everyone," said Parker Slade, owner of Hexe Coffee.
For business owner Chris Jakubiak of Hustle Fitness, it was the surprise he needed.
"You know I almost wanted to cry, it's really touching. I thought it was so cool. I was kind of having a rough day so it was really nice to know that there are people out there that care," he said.
Luft Balloons dedicates about 300 hours a year to giving back. Last year the business surprised Chicago hospitals with balloon instillations, and this year they are balloon bombing small businesses.
Frei said the smile and joy on peoples' faces makes it all worthwhile.
"It strengthens good within everyone," said Frei.