Billy By, Twitter

Have You Seen This? Son's photo of sad dad at struggling donut shop goes viral, helps boom business

By Xoel Cardenas, KSL.com | Posted - Mar 11th, 2019 @ 3:00pm



THE DOUGHNUT SHOP — For those of us who love tasty treats, there’s nothing like the smell and taste of fresh doughnuts.

If you own a doughnut shop, you certainly want all the locals to buy from your bakery. But most of us know that small businesses usually struggle to garner attention and sales their first months — if at all.

This was happening to Billy’s Donuts, a recently opened a doughnut shop near Houston, Texas. The bakery was struggling to get sales and the owner was understandably sad. His son, Billy By, noticed this and decided to do something to help his dad. By, a freelance photographer, took a few photos of the empty shop and of his dad, and post the photos on social media to ask the masses for help.

“My dad is sad cause no one is coming to his new donut shop,” By said on Twitter midday Saturday.

He then tweeted the shop’s address and business hours. It was a longshot, but for By, there wasn't much else he could do.

And you know what, the longshot worked! Social media took over and the community essentially told By and his dad, "I got you, fam!" Soon after By’s tweets were posted, people began to ask about the doughnuts and committing to visiting the shop to buy them. YouTuber Casey Neistat saw the tweet and helped get things going on social.

As of Monday afternoon, By’s tweet generated more than 675,000 likes and 302,000 retweets.

Before they knew it, By and his dad had customers out the door, all waiting to buy donuts, refreshments and other treats.

Even Billy’s Donuts Instagram account got a major bump! It originally had only 71 followers on Saturday. That number grew to an outstanding 18,000 followers a day later.

As of Monday afternoon, Billy’s Donuts had over 69,000 followers on Instagram.

By midday Sunday, Billy’s Donuts was completely sold out of donuts and kolaches. In just 24 hours, By’s tweet went viral and gave his dad’s shop the biggest boost imaginable. On Monday, a few representatives from Twitter stopped by to say hi.

View this post on Instagram

Thank you @twitter for stopping by!

A post shared by Billy's Donuts (@billysdonuts) on

How fortunes can turn in a day thanks to the kind hearts of individuals wanting to make a difference.

“You are all amazing. I can't thank everyone enough for coming out and supporting local businesses,” By said on Twitter on Sunday. “This means so much to my family.”

If you’re ever in the Houston area, remember that Billy’s Donuts is there to satisfy your doughnut craving. The owner — and his thoughtful son — will surely welcome you kindly.

Bon appetit!

Xoel Cardenas

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