Part III: Rising through Donut Holes
Late that night Song received a telephone call from Mary. Mary was one of the managers who worked at Bill’s office. She heard the whole conversation between Song, Sam and Bill during the day. She went home that evening and told her husband Eli about Song and Sam’s situation. They both decided that they wanted to help. They knew Song and Sam didn’t have any assets. They knew the donut shop might not work out and they might not see their money again. But the emotional return of giving someone a second chance was worth the risk.
Mary told Song over the phone that she and Eli had saved some money for retirement. They didn’t have immediate use for it and they would offer to lend her $20,000 to buy the donut shop. She also said that as long as Song and Sam paid her back in two or three years, they would not have to pay any interest. Song couldn’t believe her ears.
She said, “Mary, you hardly know me.
”Mary’s response was: “But I do know you. Eli and I know that honest people like you will pay us back.”
So Song and Sam bought the donut shop in a truck stop in Stockton, California. How do you make a living selling coffee and donuts to drivers of big rigs? You don’t just sell coffee and donuts. Song and Sam added items to the old menu such as omelets, sandwiches, fried rice and won ton soup 雲吞麵. Now the truckers could have a variety of things to eat whether they drove in at 6 a.m. or 4 p.m. Pretty soon the tuckers’ radios were cackling with recommendations for the little donut shop run by the friendly Cambodian couple. Then the local residents heard about it too. They started coming in regularly with their families for a decent lunch or an early dinner for a fraction of what they would pay in a regular restaurant. Song and Sam took turns being chef and maître d’. They worked 12 hours a day, from 5 in the morning to 5 in the afternoon, 6 days a week. Business was tiring but booming.
One evening last month, Song and Sam came to Mary and Eli’s house unannounced. They brought with them two dozen fresh donuts – old fashioned, custard, strawberry jam, you name it — and a red envelope. In the envelope there was a check for $21,000 — $20,000 to pay off the principal and $1,000 for the interest Mary and Eli didn’t ask for. It was almost exactly two years ago that Mary and Eli loaned them the money.
Through high will and hard work, Song and Sam literally climbed out of the financial hell they were in two years ago through donut holes. It’s time to celebrate: have a sugar-glazed donut. It’s super fattening and it’s delicious!
*** The End ***
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