People queued for as early as 4:30 am just to buy donuts in one particular shop. Yes, the fried dough confections of Donut City in Seal Beach, California are delicious, but that’s not the only reason why patrons have been purchasing them by the dozen.
So why are customers in such a hurry to buy out the store? It’s because they want the owner John Chhan to finish his shift and spend time with his sick wife Stella.
John and Stella were owners of Donut City for almost three decades. They are open seven days a week, and would only close the shop once all of their products are sold out. But on a recent visit, customers noticed the 62-year-old man running the shop without his wife. That’s when they found out that Stella was recovering at a nursing facility after she suffered an aneurysm.
The couple came to the United States in 1979 as refugees from their native Cambodia and have been serving donuts ever since.
Knowing that the shop is their bread and butter, John kept working despite Stella’s situation. The only time that he can visit her is when he already cleaned up the store and the donuts are all sold out.
Since John refused financial help through a GoFundMe account, regular customer Dawn Caviola came up with an idea of buying the donuts in bulk so John could go home and see his wife in the hospital.
“Days went by, and I just couldn’t get it out of my head. So I thought, if enough people would buy a dozen donuts every morning, he could close early and go be with his wife.”
People from the community then started to buy all the donuts and croissants as early as possible. In fact, John had to turn down some paying customers because his sweet goods are all sold out.
This sweet gesture allowed John to end work early and spend more time with his wife.
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