It’s absolutely the sweetest thing.
Every day for the past two weeks, customers flock to Donut City in Seal Beach, California, as early as 4:30 am to buy dozens of doughnuts each.
It’s partly because the doughnuts are delicious, but mostly because of a nobler reason.
You see, for the last 30 years, after arriving in the US as Cambodian refugees, husband-and-wife owners John and Stella Chhan could always be seen working together behind the counter. However, customers wondered why they haven’t seen Stella recently.
John explained that Stella suffered from an aneurism last September, and that she was recovering in a nursing home. He added that he visits her daily after all his doughnuts have been sold and the store cleaned.
And that’s when the community decided to help out.
“Days went by and I just couldn’t get it out of my head,” customer Dawn Caviola said. “So I thought, if enough people would buy a dozen doughnuts every morning, he could close early and go be with his wife.”
After posting on the community message board, Caviola got everyone to show up and buy as many doughnuts as they could. Some would purchase four or five dozen, others would get the items that sell the slowest.
The effort has been so successful that Donut City now closes at around 8 am instead of the usual 2 pm.
Some customers also offered to set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the Chhans, who were described as “humble, smiling people.” John, however, declined the offer.
When asked by The Washington Post about Stella’s condition, John had good news: that she could now talk and move again, and that “she’s getting better and better.”
And it’s all thanks to the kind and generous doughnut-lovers of Orange County. “I so appreciate it,” John said. “I just can’t say enough thank you and thank you.”