WEST COVINA (CBSLA.com) — Thousands of people have signed a petition to keep Dunkin’ Donuts out of a shopping plaza in West Covina.

The reason? Their bond with Rainbow Donuts.

“It’s a place where everybody knows your name,” said Hector Martel, a customer.

Between Sing Yam and her customers, the doughnut shop is her life.

Yam and her husband have been running the mom-and-pop shop for 28 years after coming to the United States as refugees and escaping the Killing Fields of Cambodia.

A new Dunkin’ Donuts is expected to plop itself across a driveway and in plain view of Rainbow Donuts.

“My blood boil,” said Yam. And she’s not the only one.

About 2,000 people have signed a petition to block Dunkin’ Donuts from the South Hills Plaza.

“My whole family, about 30 people, have come in to sign,” said Deanna Folks, another customer. “We don’t want Dunkin’ Donuts here.”

Neighbors blame City Hall for courting Dunkin’ Donuts to come to West Covina.

But the city says the location of the new franchise store is between the company and the owner of the shopping center.

The shopping center in a statement said: “We believe there is a market demand for both of these restaurants to thrive as each offers a unique customer experience.”

Customer experience is source of pride for Yam.

She has worked 7 days a week, at least 12 hours a day, to raise her two kids while tending to her customers.

“They’re more my friends,” she said. “They’re more my family.”

The city says Dunkin’ Donuts hasn’t filed its plan yet.


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