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Not Terrible: California Community Buys Doughnuts By the Dozen to Support Decades-Old Shop

Locals are making sure this Seal Beach doughnut shop sells out fast so the owner can spend more time his sick wife.
Bettina Makalintal
Brooklyn, US
doughnuts with frosting and sprinkles

With the state of the world as we know it being what it is, and tomorrow’s election looming heavy on our heads, we get it: You need some good news sometimes. Straight from Southern California, this sugary-sweet story give us a little faith that everything is not, in fact, the worst.

Though the private, neighborhood-specific social network Nextdoor might more immediately be associated with passive-aggressive drama—like asking who left a bag of dog poop in a Halloween candy bucket—a post in the Nextdoor network of Seal Beach, California has spurned a rise above petty complaints, reports NBC News. There, community members are buying doughnuts by the dozen to support the ailing owner of beloved local doughnut shop Donut City.


For almost three decades, John and Stella Chhan have slung doughnuts together at the old-school establishment. Starting at at 4:30 AM, seven days a week, the two work until the doughnuts are sold out for the day. That changed in late September, though, when Stella suffered an aneurysm that placed her in a rehabilitation facility and kept her from being with her husband.

Locals noticed her absence, and though community members first suggested a GoFundMe, John said he would rather spend time with his wife. Instead, at the suggestion of a Nextdoor post written by a longtime Donut City devotee, members of the Seal Beach community are now flocking to the shop to buy a dozen at a time. The goal: Sell out sooner so John can close early and see Stella.

The community rallying has worked—since the post went live last week, Donut City has sold out of donuts by noon everyday, according to the Orange County Register, much earlier than their standard 3 PM close. John told NBC that the community turnout made him feel “very warm and very happy.” Better yet, he said, Stella is recovering noticeably.

So people aren’t all terrible, and there are worse things to have around than a dozen doughnuts. (By the way, while you’re here, why not make a plan to vote tomorrow?)