Doughnuts provide care for a sick woman

People are buying all the doughnuts in this bakery so the owner can spend time with his sick wife

A small, family-owned business is more popular than ever for an incredibly sweet reason.
Donut City

NBC Los Angeles

 / Source: TODAY
By Erica Chayes Wida

For the last few weeks, a small, family-owned bakery on a highway in Seal Beach, California, has been selling out its entire supply of doughnuts every morning for an incredibly sweet reason.

Donut City, a no-frills spot known for its freshly baked treats, was started nearly 30 years ago by husband and wife John and Stella Chhan. They run the cafe seven days a week and, though it’s perched beside a 7-Eleven, has a very loyal following of customers who pop in for sweets at modest prices.

But on Sept. 22, Stella suffered a “debilitating [brain] aneurysm,” the Orange County Register reported, and customers began to notice her absence. Some asked John, 62, if his wife was OK, including a regular named Dawn Caviola who — after learning of Stella’s condition — could think of little else.

“I went home and I just couldn’t get it out of my head,” Caviola told NBC News earlier this month. “They are just such hardworking people.”

After posting an idea to buy out all of the shop’s doughnuts to Nextdoor, a social networking site that serves as a platform for local community members, the support (and hunger for doughnuts) rolled in. Donut City usually opens around 4:30 a.m. and usually stayed open until the early afternoon. But with the locals’ efforts, John was able to close earlier and earlier — meaning that’s he able to go home and spend time with his wife.

On Nov. 3, John told NBC News that Stella was doing much better, could speak again and was re-learning how to eat. That morning, after his inventory was totally sold out, he was able to close the shop at 8:30 a.m.

Still, the crowds continue to flock to Donut City and John is able to close earlier and earlier.

“I came to Donut City to pick up two dozen donuts for my department. It is 6:30am. They are sold out of donuts. This is crazy,” someone posted to Facebook on Tuesday.

Many on social media are also praising those who have rallied behind the Chhans.

And through several compassionate Facebook share’s, it’s clear why this doughnut shop has such loyal customers.

“BEST DONUTS EVER served by the Sweetest people ever,” one local wrote.

“The best donuts in the world, the owner is amazing and we are truly blessed to eat and enjoy their donuts,” another said.

“I used to get dropped off here before elementary school and grab some donuts and walk to school,” a grown man commented. “This guy is a complete gem. Always a smile and allllways dropping free donut holes in the bag.”

Stella and John moved to the U.S. from Cambodia in 1979. They purchased Donut City in 1990 and have been running the business together ever since.

“I feel very warm and very happy,” he said. “Thank you to everyone.”

Show thanks through kindness

You may have noticed I am a big-time advocate of spreading kindness.  I am also a very grateful person to the courageous men and women in our military.  They not only risk their lives for us every day but also have the heartache of missing their families and friends while serving our amazing country.

So how do I combine my love for kindness and the military?

Every time I meet or see a veteran in public, I will always go out of my way to shake their hand and thank them for their service.


How do you know if a stranger is a veteran?

Look for an individual wearing a veteran’s hat, or a person in uniform or even overhearing a conversation.

Without our veterans and military personnel we would not have the freedoms and quality of life that we do today.

Thank you for all who currently serve and have previously served our country!


Ideas on how to spread kindness every day

Hi Friends!

Random acts of kindness are surrounding us every day.  But are we focusing on the little moments that provide these opportunities?

Here are a few ideas on how to brighten someone’s day without breaking the bank.  Kindness is not about materialistic gifts or expensive presents.  True kindness is doing a nice deed for someone without expecting anything in return.  People shouldn’t be bought, they should be shown care and love.

Here are a few ideas for you:


Support lemonade stands

This idea comes from the soft spot in my heart that remembers all those summer days I spent selling lemonade as a kid. A child’s entrepreneurial spirit should be rewarded. A quarter is all it takes to make a smile.

Make sure you let the kids know how delicious it is!


Leave positive notes

Grab a stack of sticky notes and spend five minutes writing positive statements on them. Then place the sticky notes anywhere that needs a little kindness like an office, a bus stop, a gas pump, a parked car, a hallway, or hidden around your home!

Here are a few phrases to get you started:

  • You know who’s awesome? Read that first word again.
  • Throw kindness around like confetti.
  • Hey, you’re great.
  • One kind word can change someone’s entire day.
  • Be the reason someone smiles today.
  • Psst…you’re awesome.


Compliment a well-behaved child

Parenting can be a bit ummm…overwhelming at times.  Especially when you’re grocery shopping.  When you’re in public, and you notice a child doing something good, it means the world to a parent to hear that, and it also makes the child happy and proud of themselves.  Whether you’re at a restaurant or the grocery store, make a parent proud, and a child feels good with a simple compliment.


Reply To A Post You Enjoy

We all get in the habit of breezing past content on social media, though it’s actually worth the effort of making the Internet a positive and constructive place.

Even if it’s just a simple “thank you” or tidbit of good feedback, the person behind the post will appreciate your time and effort. Take an extra moment to show you are grateful for the inspiration, information and/or humor they provide in your life. If you get value out of something, let it be known! Simple as that.



Simple act of kindness


Our Facebook group, Lead with a deed, is dedicated to sharing stories of acts of kindness.

A few years ago I had started a new job and noticed a woman in my office that always looked so sad.  My co-workers had shown her very little regard as a person and she was silently pushed aside from the daily office conversations.

I saw her in the lunchroom one day sitting alone while the rest of the lunch timers all sat together talking.  I sat next to her from then on every day.

She told me 2 years later that the first day I sat with her she was feeling so sad and contemplated committing suicide.  Befriending her that day changed her mindset from suicide to hope and happiness.

A simple act of kindness does make a difference in someone’s life.  I would love to hear your stories on experiences with showing kindness.  Share with us on Lead with a deed or even here in the blog.

The more people see how much kindness does influence a life the more we can support others to go out of their way to be kind.

As the owner of Hairmingo, I personally thank all who have shown others kindness and love!

Hairmingo Tami

Hairmingo on Facebook

Lead with a deed on Facebook

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