Donors help ‘Poppin Dough’ donut shop owner pay huge pipe repair bill that forced him to close – CBS Chicago


CHICAGO (CBS) — A Longwood Manor donut shop owner was struggling to pay thousands of dollars to fix a broken pipe outside his business, until he shared his story with CBS 2’s Suzanne Le Mignot, and some wonderful thing to happen.

The problematic pipe is a few steps from the front door of Poppin Dough. The store owner said the cost of repairing the pipe was no longer an issue, after the outpouring of support from CBS 2 viewers.

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We first brought you the story of Richard Gray on Valentine’s Day.

Gray is the co-owner of Poppin’ Dough in the Longwood Manor neighborhood. The store has been selling donuts and a variety of popcorn in the community for almost seven years.

Gray was appealing to his regular Poppin’ Dough customers, whom he calls his “Poptastic family,” to donate to his pipe repair fund.

“Some time ago I had a flood and a pipe burst in front of the store,” he said.

Gray learned that it was his responsibility to fix a collapsed pipe in front of his store, under the sidewalk. The broken pipe caused a flood in the basement of the house adjoining his business.

The cost to repair the pipe: $42,000.

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Gray hired Mercury Construction and Demolition to do the repair. After our story aired, the business owner told Gray he wanted to help.

“They donated some services to me. They brought the cost down,” Gray said.

The cost went from $42,000 to $30,000. Gray, a retired special education teacher, said the generosity didn’t stop there.

“I don’t know how they saw the story, but I got calls from Vegas, I got calls from Louisiana; just calling for help, and even some former teachers I worked with a while ago called from Boston and offered me help and sent funds to help me open up said Gray.

On February 14, just over $800 was donated to Gray’s GoFundMe page. Today, over $11,000 has been donated.

“It really, really touched me that people, in these times, especially as hard as it is, in these times, really care,” Gray said.

Poppin’ Dough’s doors have been closed since December.

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With pipe repairs completed on Tuesday and a successful water utility inspection, Gray said he plans to do a grand reopening at the end of the month, complete with sweet gifts for everyone who supported him, for the to help reopen his store.


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