SEAL BEACH (CBSLA) — Donut City owner John Chhan just wants more time with his ailing wife, so his customers are helping out, a dozen doughnuts at a time.

Chhan and his wife, Stella, have owned Donut City in Seal Beach for three decades. The couple came to Orange County as refugees from Cambodia in 1979. Since then, they’ve worked side by side every morning to serve doughnuts at their Pacific Coast Highway shop – until recently.

“Hey come and support this guy’s donuts,” one customer said, flashing a thumbs up sign. “He’s a great man, great cause.”

Customers who missed Stella Chhan’s presence behind the counter were shocked to discover she had suffered an aneurysm. She’s alive, but is weak and in rehab, and John Chhan rushes home every day to be with her as soon as the shop sells out of doughnuts.

Chhan declined customers’ offer to set up a GoFundMe account for the couple, saying he simply wants more time with his wife. Instead, customers have endeavored to help Donut City sell out early every day so he can return to the rehabilitation center where she is recovering.

“She can talk, she can write,” Chhan said of his wife’s progress. “Right now she’s trying to start…eat something.”

The shop’s customers spread the word on newsletters and by word of mouth, and have asked everyone buying doughnuts to buy a dozen at a time.

“It’s a blessing really,” the unidentified customer said. “We need more people like that to just help everybody out in whatever need they have.”

Comments (102)
  1. prayers for a healthy and speedy recovery.

  2. Mike Wynn says:

    god bless them

  3. Well, goddammit, that’s beautiful and I was trying to get through the whole damn day without crying and now I have failed.

  4. Grant Trexler says:

    So good to hear about good people out there! Warms my heart even more because a refugee family is the one receiving the support of their community. We CAN keep this country great by random acts of kindness.
    Dana in San Luis Obispo California

    1. Pamela J Anderson says:

      Yes! This is the spirit of the great country and beautiful hearts I know and love. Well said@

  5. Dani Deb Oliver says:

    Beautiful people. Have put him and his wife in my prayer book to pray for daily.