Mel's Donuts and Deli plans to close its doors after three decades of operating in Orange County.
Han Chau and Mai Yen, the husband-and-wife pair who run the Anaheim shop, say their landlord recently raised the rent from $2,300 to $6,800 a month, and the difference amounts to more donuts than they can sell.
"It hurts, it really does," customer Tom Brandon said. "I'm just coming here to buy something, but this is their livelihood."
The business' array of regular customers includes Amanda Defour, who used to stop by the shop on her way to high school and now brings along her niece and her 7-year-old daughter, Anya, when she visits.
Defour described the shop as a place to hang out, like a local diner.
"You remember getting in trouble, you go to the donut shop, you sit and talk about how much you hate your parents or whatever," Defour said.
Chau and Yen met at the shop, when Yen used to work there under her father's ownership.
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Neighboring businesses also say they can't afford to stay open at the Camphor Tree Plaza. The landlord could not be reached for comment by press time.
The shop is subject to a 30-day notice to move out by the end of the month.
"It's sad that not enough people fight for this, like shops you love," Defour said.