Thousands turn up to donut shop after owner's son tweets about how sad his dad was that no one came to the opening
The internet is mostly horrible. Spend more than a few hours wading through the cesspool of social media and you’ll end up either angry, suicidal or both. But, despite the general doom and gloom, every so often the internet offers us a tantalising hint that there might be more to being online than endless trolling and unwarranted comparisons to Hitler. This week has produced one such story.
A new donut store has been swamped with customers this week after a morose tweet from the owner’s son went viral. “Billy’s Donuts” in Missouri City, Texas, endured an underwhelming opening, when businessman Mr By expectantly unveiled his new baby to what could reasonably be described as complete indifference from the local community. However, what looked like a disaster quickly turned into triumph thanks to the surprising generosity of Twitter.
After witnessing his father’s dismay at the total lack of interest in his new donut store, Billy By (for whom the shop is named) decided to take to the social networking site to plead for support from the usually unforgiving online community. In a tweet posted on Saturday morning, Billy described how his dad “...is sad cause no one is coming to his new donut shop (sic.)," alongside several pictures of the desolate storefront and dejected patron. After failing to make much of a splash, Billy decided to post the new store’s address. He could not have imagined what would happen next.
Within a few hours, Billy’s cry for help had gone viral, garnering thousands of messages of support from local and international Twitter users. Many people from Missouri resolved to turn up to the store and show their support, whilst hundreds of others vowed to spread the word wherever they could.
Before long, celebrities were starting to get involved. YouTube celebrity Casey Neistat declared that he was “OMW” on Saturday afternoon - a comment which helped boost Billy’s profile still further. A few hours later, actor James Woods quote-tweeted one of By’s original posts, instructing his more than two million followers to “Help the guy out…” The results were staggering.
Throughout the weekend, Twitter was awash with photos from Billy’s Donuts, showing the store packed to the rafters with happy customers. Many praised the quality of the sweet treats on offer and vowed to return in the near future. The day after opening weekend, Billy took to Twitter to thank everyone for helping his dad’s dreams come true, adding, “Just wanted to update yall (sic.)! We completely sold out of donuts and kolaches! You are all amazing. I can't thank everyone enough for coming out and supporting local businesses. This means so much to my family."
The good news didn’t stop there. In a tweet composed Monday morning, Billy stated that, at 11:30AM, “WE ARE ALL SOLD OUT TODAY!” Internet behaviour might usually be incredibly depressing, but Billy’s story just goes to show that, if enough people get together with good intentions, awesome things can still happen.