It is about two weeks since customers arrived at Donut City at Donut City at 4:30 pm in Seal Beach, California, to buy dozens of donuts each. On Monday, the shop was sold out at 7.30 am – noon for the usual two o'clock in the evening. closing time.
Customers say that the donuts are delicious. But that's not why they lined up to buy them in the last few weeks.
It started a few weeks ago when customers noticed something was wrong. Every day, over the past 28 years, the friendly husband and wife owners – Stella and John Chhan – have been behind the counter to sell their freshly made breakfast treats. But one day Stella Chhan was not there.
When customers asked, John Chhan (62) told that she had an aneurysm on September 22 and that she was recovering in a nursing home. He would visit his wife, 63, & noon when all the donuts were sold and the store was clean, he said.
That is all that was needed.
"The days went by and I just could not get it out of my mind," customer Dawn Caviola told the Orange County Registry. "So I thought if enough people would buy a dozen donuts every morning, he could close early and be with his wife."
Caviola placed the idea on Nextdoor, the neighbors' board and neighbors and fans of Donut City responded in a big way. They started to appear in the dark and ordered dozens of donuts and croissants. At 6 pm there is often a line to the door.
"We're ready for today, it's been sold out about half an hour ago," Chhan said in a telephone interview with The Washington Post on Monday at about 8:00 in the state of California.
"Many people come in and buy three, four, five dozen," he said, adding that he sold 50 dozen donuts on Monday.
Loyal customer Jenee Rogers said she has been a regular Donut City customer for the past 20 years. She said that John and Stella Chhan are "humble, smiling people". She saw a local news report about the attempt to help the Chhans, including the detail that someone was trying to set up a GoFundMe page to raise money for the Chhans, but he rejected the offer.
Rogers said that she and all her friends brought the news to go to the store early and buy donuts.
"I thought & # 39; wait, that's my donut shop.," Rogers said, aged 47. "We have posted and posted again – and every day that I was there, the line was to the door. "
Rogers, whose family is the owner of M & M Surfing School at Seal Beach, said the surf school buys donuts every Sunday for her local church community. When she was there at 6.30 pm on Sunday, she asked John Chhan which donuts sell the slowest. He told her the cake variety and she bought about ten of them.
"He was just about sold out," Rogers said. "It was slender pickings there."
When John Chhan cleaned up his shop on Monday morning, he said he would end up and go to his wife. He said that the two from the late seventies came from Cambodia, bought Donut City in 1990 and have been small owners of small businesses ever since.
When Stella Chhan got sick a few weeks ago, he said she could not talk and had difficulty moving. Now she talks a little and can only sit down. "She is getting better," he said.
During the telephone conversation he paused to tell several customers that he was sold out.
Then he turned his attention back to the phone call and emphasized how incredibly grateful he is to his dedicated customers.
"I appreciate it like that," he said. "I can not say enough, thank you and thank you."
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