MARION COUNTY, Fla. – James Brandl always knew he wanted to be in the grocery business. She also knows she loves helping people. As a child he cut out coupons and passed his savings to others.
Today, Brandl runs a small grocery liquidation store in Belleview, near Ocala, called The Coupon Kid, where he has earned a reputation for selling discount items and helping those in need.
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Coupon Kid Sales and Liquidation is not the type of store where you carry a shopping list.
“I don’t know what we’re going to get,” Brandl said, as he walked the islands, pointing out some amazing things. “The staff asked me, ‘What’s the future?’ I don’t know. If we open the truck doors it can be potato chips or it can be cookies. It can be anything in the world. I hope it’s not too heavy. ”
The shelves are full of everything from common dish soap to specialties like Fire Cracker Red Hot Pickled Sausage. Everything is sold at a discount.
Katha Phillips Hagood will sell there if she can. He was on a budget and said he appreciated the prices.
“I live 20 miles outside and with gas is what it is that I haven’t been here in a while,” he said. “Every time you check like wow that’s it.”
Brandl walks through boxes of unopened products placed over his head.
“We actually grew out of this building,” he said. Eventually we need to get a bigger building. ”
The business is different from where he started, cutting coupons in his sin when he was young. In a way, it’s also an extension of his beginnings of love.
He was introduced to couponing at the age of 15 by a friend’s mom.
“I was like,‘ Let’s see if I can do this, ’” Brandl recalls. “I came home with 200 boxes of noodles and 96 items of cinnamon rolls. We paid 14 bucks for everything and I went to the neighbors and said, ‘You can’t believe what I’m doing.’ ”
He gave up most of it, and in that moment, he was hooked.
Brandl said his neighbors and others in need will always benefit from his deals. She will donate school supplies and toiletries to a nearby elementary school.
“It’s not a big deal. I said, ‘You can’t believe how I got these things,’ ”Brandl recalls. “You can really save money doing it.”
He is known as “The Coupon Kid.”
Always looking for a deal, Brandl then started buying excess stock and closing items from major retailers.
He opened his first store in 2017.
“I don’t know what the grocery business is all about. Strange. You can see I love to eat. That’s all,” Brandl laughed. “It’s just crazy. I loved the grocery business when I was a kid.”
Today, Brandl continues to give back to his community. She has built a reputation for helping those in need. The store’s Facebook page is full of examples of people thanking him for his generosity.
“I’ve never been the person to sit down and say someone else is going to take care of it,” Brandl said. “I’m the guy who would stand in line and say,‘ Hey, we have something to do. ‘”
Brandl was nominated for the News 6 Getting Results Award by customer Patti Wilkinson.
“I witnessed James listening to a mother as she cashed out saying she was limited in funds and barely had the necessities,” Wilkinson wrote in an email. “James was quick to react and took care of their needs. He never let her be embarrassed in any way. He just tells her this is what he wants to do (:) help. ”
Brandl helps families after car accidents, whether they have lost a loved one or are just having trouble spending. He helped the local minor league and had a giveaway during the Christmas season.
Ann Baylis buys The Coupon Kid about twice a week. She remembers a family fire in the apartment. Brandl also helped them, giving them free groceries.
“I get goose bumps,” Baylis recalls the story. “That means a lot. He will do all he can. ”
Brandl said he loves what he does and hopes to open more stores in other locations. But it’s not about making more income, he said; it has more to do with helping more people.
“Coupon Kids isn’t just a way to make money,” Brandl said. “To me, it’s never been like that. It’s always to help people. ”
Wilkinson hopes “The Coupon Kid” and his team get the recognition they deserve.
“Please show James, his mom and his hardworking staff that they have seen, heard and recognized all they have done and will continue to do in this community,” Wilkinson wrote.
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