Analysis & Comment

Customers buy out doughnut shop early every day so owner can be with ailing wife

California doughnut shop customers are buying sweets in bulk every morning so the owner can sell off his inventory and close early to spend time with his ailing wife.

Stella and John Chhan have owned Donut City in Seal Beach for nearly 30 years. Working side by side, the Chhans had been selling tasty treats seven days a week, until their inventory runs dry.

However, as of late, it’s just been the husband behind the counter — Stella suffered an aneurysm.

“She can talk, she can write,” Chhan told CBS News. “Right now she’s trying to start… eat something.”

Chhan closes up shop once he sells out of his product and rushes to a rehabilitation facility to spend as much time as possible with his wife. Once faithful customers got wind of what happened to Stella, they banded together to help the family.

“Days went by and I just couldn’t get it out of my head,” Dawn Caviola told the Orange County Register. “So I thought, if enough people would buy a dozen doughnuts every morning, he could close early and go be with his wife.”

Chhan had declined several offers from customers to setup a GoFundMe page to help raise money for the family.

“He said he has enough money,” Caviola said. “He just wants to spend more time with his wife.”

That’s when Caviola put the idea on a social networking site of buying out the shop.

The response was immediate. The shop has been sold out of goods by noon every day, and on some days three hours earlier than usual, according the Register.

Last weekend, so many customers turned out Chhan said he “was able to leave at 10.”

“We are so thankful,” Chhan told the newspaper.

The couple came to the U.S. from Cambodia as refugees in 1979, and purchased the doughnut shop about 10 years later, according to the Register.

“They’re such sweet, hard-working people,” Caviola said.

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