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Sanders thanks Boston restaurant for chips, salsa, and a side of support

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Senator Bernie Sanders made a pit stop in Boston before attending a rally Monday at UMass Amherst.Keith Bedford

Bessie King was getting ready to close up Villa Mexico Cafe Monday night when a customer walked over to the counter to show her something on his phone.

As King stared at the screen, she realized it was an image of a bag of tortilla chips and salsa, accompanied by a note that she had written, which she gave to Democratic presidential candidate Bernie Sanders' campaign staff earlier that day.

"We saw it, and we were, like, 'Oh, my God!' " said King, who co-owns the Water Street restaurant with her mother, Julie.

Sanders' staff had posted the picture, which showed the handwritten note of support from King, to both Instagram and Tumblr.


The caption next to the image read, “To Julie and Bessie: Thank you for this lovely note. Happy to hear that you #FeelTheBern.”

"To have the humanity to say thank you for the note on social media, it was very much a shock for us," King said.

Sanders hosted a rally for 7,500 people at the University of Massachusetts Amherst campus Monday night. Before the rally, he made a pit stop in Boston to speak to ironworkers.

When a customer told King in the afternoon Monday that Sanders was around the corner from her restaurant, she put the note and chips together and dashed down the street.

The note said, "Welcome to Boston! We own a small Mexican restaurant here on Water Street (my mom and I) and when customers said you may be coming we came out to see and 'feel the Bern' in person. We are rooting and voting for you. Stay strong and God bless you."

She couldn't get near Sanders, so she handed the bag to his campaign staff, she said.

Hours later, the bag reappeared, but this time on social media.

On Tuesday, customers coming into the restaurant were commenting on Sanders' post to his more than 800,000 followers.

"We were definitely very surprised," King said. "It was a stroke of luck, but we are very thankful."


Sanders's staff did not immediately return a request for comment about whether the senator actually ate the chips during his drive to Amherst.

To Julie and Bessie: Thank you for this lovely note. Happy to hear that you #FeelTheBern.

A photo posted by Bernie Sanders (@berniesanders) on

Today WE FELT THE BERN!!! Thank you #BernieSanders ;)!!!!

Posted by Villa Mexico Cafe on Monday, February 22, 2016

Steve Annear can be reached at Follow him on Twitter @steveannear.