Regina donut shop owner thankful for community support following repeated vandalism
The owner of a long-standing donut shop in Regina says he is grateful for the community’s support after seeing repeated vandalism at his business.
Vandals have targeted Country Corner Donuts four times in the last four months, according to police reports.
“They come and they go. And they come back again and they go too. We have to be strong,” owner Vuong Pham said.
Pham moved to Regina from Vietnam in 1979. Ten years later he opened up Country Corner Donuts.
Pham takes three days off each year: Christmas, Boxing Day and New Year’s Day. The rest of the time he is behind the counter making sandwiches at Country Corner Donuts, often working 12-hour days.
There was just one exception, he said, when he took a three-week vacation.
“In the year 2004, I went back to Vietnam for the first time and I’d say the last time,” Pham said.
“We’re just so happy here and working here.”
However, in August, Pham started seeing things he’s never had to deal with before.
Three separate times, vandals have smashed his windows: twice with rocks and once with a BB gun.
“The first one, I thought, ‘this is normal—somebody has nothing to do,’” he said.
Most recently, someone spray-painted anti-Asian hate messages on the side windows.
“I was very concerned with what they wrote a week ago,” he said.
According to Pham, each replacement window costs $1,000. Pham says he’s fortunate enough not to be in a financial hole, but he says that money could be better used to fix things in the restaurant.
“It’s OK. Money comes back,” he said.
Regina Police are investigating all four vandalism attacks.
“We take these events seriously, particularly anything that directs hatred toward any identifiable group in our society. We would like to find the person or persons responsible,” a Regina Police Service spokesperson said in a statement.
Police have yet to identify any suspects. Anyone with information is asked to call Regina Police or Crime Stoppers.
Despite the repeated vandalism, Pham says he has no plans of packing up shop.
“[This business] is my life,” he said.
LOCAL BUSINESSES RALLY SUPPORT
Businesses and individuals in Regina have rallied to show their support for a local donut shop after it was vandalized.
Some local businesses took to social media over the weekend to encourage support for Country Corner Donuts and its owner, Vuong Pham.
“Lately it seems that his business has been a target of graffiti, slurs and rocks being thrown through the windows. No one deserves this but especially this hard working pillar in our community,” Auto Electric Services Ltd. wrote on Facebook.
Jennifer Fox, the marketing manager behind Auto Electric Service’s Facebook page, says she never expected the post to gain that much traction.
“We just wanted to use our little bit of a platform to hopefully spread some good to their business as well,” Fox said.
“We know what it’s like to be a small business and we know what it’s like to have to incur extra costs that you’re just not expecting.”
Fox and her colleagues have become close with Pham and the staff at Country Corner. The businesses are right down the road from each other. Fox says the donut shop is a popular lunch place for Auto Electric.
“We’ve been here for years and they’ve been here for years, too. And as other businesses come and go, they’ve been a fixture in the community,” she said.
Country Corner has sold out of donuts every day since Friday. Pham says he is “thankful” for the community’s generosity.
On Instagram, another local donut mainstay Hobo Donuts, encouraged followers to head out to support Country Corner Donuts.
“Recently they have been targeted for graffiti, racial slurs, being hurled and event rocks being thrown through their windows,” Hobo Donuts posted. “This isn’t cool at all. Nobody deserves that ever.”
More details to come…