There’s nothing like a sad picture of someone’s dad to get people to say, ‘Here, take my money.’
Last Thursday, Billy By’s father opened a bakery called Billy’s Donuts in Missouri City, Texas. But despite a shiny new store filled with mouthwatering donuts and kolaches, and a huge ‘Grand Opening sign’ hanging out front, customers weren’t showing up.
So Billy shared pictures of the shop online, tweeting that his dad was ‘sad’ because of his empty store and pleading with social media users to stop by. Heartstrings tugged, the Twitter masses delivered.
Heartbreaking: Billy’s Donuts opened in Missouri City, Texas on Thursday, but few customers showed up, and the owner’s son took to Twitter to share his dad’s dismay at the lack of people
Heartbreaking: ‘My dad is sad cause no one is coming to his new donut shop,’ he wrote of the sunny location
Empty lot: There was even a Grand Opening sign hanging outside the new store, which opened down the road from the shop’s previous location
Delicious! The shop sells donuts and other pastries, which Billy showed off
Courtesy of FOX 26
‘My dad is sad cause no one is coming to his new donut shop,’ Billy tweeted on Saturday afternoon.
He included pictures of the incredibly sunny yellow shop, a close-up of mouthwatering glazed donuts, and a snap of his dad standing behind the counter with no customers.
The customers didn’t stay away for long. In no time, Billy’s tweet went viral, racking up over half a million likes and a quarter of a million retweets so far.
Commenters who lived nearby promised to come in, and others who lived far away put out their own pleas for locals to help the shop.
‘Even if 10% can show up, that would be awesome. If I was in the area, I know one of those donuts would be calling my name!’ wrote one.
Get there! His tweet quickly went viral, with Twitter users getting emotional over the sad dad and promising to visit
‘I live literally 5 min away.. Most def coming tomorrow!’ wrote another, who shared pictures from his visit the next day.
‘Dude it was really busy when I went too!!’ tweeted a woman who also visited. ‘His mom was talking about how she usually knows how much to make in a day but today she didnt expect the turnout … and the boudin kolaches are SO good.’
‘The power of the tweet works,’ wrote yet another man, sharing a photo of the long line in the store the next day.
Some simply couldn’t get over Billy’s dad, with one man writing in all caps: ‘YALL THE STORE IS NAMED AFTER HIS SON????’
‘He loves me. I don’t deserve this,’ Billy replied.
It worked! Visitors did show up, and they shared pictures from inside the shop
Yes! The tweet inspired customers to come out in droves, with long lines forming to the door
They came! More photos show how busy the shop stayed for the rest of the day
A happy ending! This woman talked to the owner’s wife, who was surprised by the sudden rush of customers
After an incredibly busy day, Billy tweeted again to reassure followers that Twitter came through.
‘Just wanted to update yall! 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,’ he wrote, adding a new photo of him smiling next to his also-beaming dad.
According to Yelp, tthe shop, which is located at 7022 Hwy 6 suite 800 Missouri City, Texas, was actually previously open at another location further down the highway.
In fact, Billy’s Donuts has plenty of positive reviews on Yelp going back years, so it may be that customers still needed to find the new location.
When they did, though, it seems everyone was impressed. The shop has 78 reviews averaging five stars, with comments giving glowing praise.
Thanks! Billy updated with gratitude for the Twitter turn-out, sharing a picture of himself and his dad smiling in front of nearly-empty trays of food
Hungry? The shop, which is named after the son, sells lots of colorful donuts and other pastries
Local favorite: A popular item, their kolaches, are a Czech pastry that typically hold fruit or cheese. Theirs have meat, a popular variety sold in Texas
Staple: The shop has overwhelmingly positive reviews on Yelp
Supportive: Since the grand opening, more reviewers have left positive comments
Lots of good stuff: Reviewers have commented on both the food and the service
Delicious! The donut shop is proving so popular that one reviewer noted ‘the good ones’ are selling out fast
‘Stopped here driving through to Houston and so glad I did! The donuts are all made fresh and there’s great variety. The owner is a lovely guy and has a lot of pride in making high quality donuts,’ wrote one.
‘Amazingggggggg donuts. I passed through when I was in the area and man was I happy! Get here early sometimes they sell outta the good ones fast! Yum!’ wrote another.
And an older review from 2014: ‘Best kolaches on the plancaet. Prefect bread to contents ratio, and yummy, soft and buttered. Only con is they’re far out of town and once you try their kolaches you won’t find satisfaction from ones that were previously enjoyable.’
Kolaches are a pastry that typically hold fruit or cheese. They’re of Czech origin. A meat variety is particularly popular in Texas, where Czech immigrants settled decades ago.