Customers Buy Out Doughnuts Early Each Day so Owner Can Go Home To Be with Sick Wife


In a world of big corporations and faceless, nameless distributors, it’s comforting to know a few businesses that still do things face-to-face and on their own.

These little mom-and-pop shops can’t always compete with the larger stores, but they make up for price differences with their warmth, friendliness and personalized service.

One little doughnut shop in Seal Beach, California, has been in operation for around 30 years and has earned many loyal customers. But the owners of Donut City have experienced a setback.

John Chhan is the owner, and Stella — his wife — has been a staple at the store since its start. But she left her post and hasn’t been seen for some time.

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Customers soon learned she’d had an aneurysm. No longer able to function in the same capacity as before, she’s been restricted to rest and rehab, and her husband has had to run the operation without her.

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Of course, his day ends when the doughnuts are gone, so the sooner he sells out, the sooner he can rush to his wife’s side and spend precious quality time with her.

Regular customers felt compelled to do something to help, but Chhan refused a GoFundMe account. He doesn’t want money, he wants time.

And you can’t buy that. But you can buy doughnuts — so that’s precisely what loyal patrons of the establishment have started to do to give him what he wants most. They quickly buy all of the doughnuts in the morning so Chhan can go home to his wife.

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

Readers have chimed in to voice their recognition of the do-gooders and also cheer on the Chhans, who moved almost 40 years ago from Cambodia to California. Some readers have even stated that they plan on buying doughnuts from this location now, too.

“What a hard working man he could have took the gofundme and time off work but he preferred to work,” wrote one reader.

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“Does anyone know the name of the Donut Shop?” another wrote. “I’m having a birthday party for my daughter on Nov 17th and the theme is Donuts. I’m looking to purchase at least 10 dozen donuts, it be nice to purchase them from this shop rather than Krispy Kreme.”

If you’re in the area, consider stopping in and buying a few. It’s rare to find a community as supportive as the one Chhan has, but it’s also rare to find someone in need with such an exemplary work ethic that they want to continue to work and earn their own money.

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Amanda holds an MA in Rhetoric and TESOL from Cal Poly Pomona. After teaching composition and logic for several years, she's strayed into writing full-time and especially enjoys animal-related topics.
As of January 2019, Amanda has written over 1,000 stories for The Western Journal but doesn't really know how. Graduating from California State Polytechnic University with a MA in Rhetoric/Composition and TESOL, she wrote her thesis about metacognitive development and the skill transfer between reading and writing in freshman students.
She has a slew of interests that keep her busy, including trying out new recipes, enjoying nature, discussing ridiculous topics, reading, drawing, people watching, developing curriculum, and writing bios. Sometimes she has red hair, sometimes she has brown hair, sometimes she's had teal hair.
With a book on productive communication strategies in the works, Amanda is also writing and illustrating some children's books with her husband, Edward.
Austin, Texas
Languages Spoken
English und ein bißchen Deutsch
Topics of Expertise
Faith, Animals, Cooking