David Hoff’s scones stand has been stolen. People let him go back to business.

After hours selling scones on Toronto’s front lawn, David Hoff needed to go to the bathroom to take a break. He left the roadside stand unattended for a few minutes, and in that brief time it was stolen. The whole thing – including the cooler, wicker folding table and some supplies – is gone.

The only thing left is a handwritten sign that says “Homemade Lemony Cranberry Scones.”

In August, 10-year-old David set up the bakery table. 27 outside his house. That day, he was selling lemon cranberry scones—his sister’s specialty. The siblings ran a small baked goods business called The Hove Delights for about a month.

They work several hours a day on weekends. When David deals with customers, his 15-year-old sister Kimberly is in charge of baking and recipe development. Their goal is to make money. David dreams of owning an Xbox, and Kimberly wants a new phone. They divide the profits.

So far, their stance has been successful. They sell sweet treats — like cinnamon rolls, doughnuts, oatmeal cookies, and scones — for $2 to $3.50, depending on the size of the desert. Kimberly used her mother’s recipe to make lemon cranberry scones that quickly became a best-seller.

The siblings said they sold a lot of baked goods and heard a lot of good things from customers and neighbors.

“I’m very happy,” David said of his business. He takes great pride in running the stand independently, adding: “I love connecting with people.”

But his excitement turned to disbelief when he returned from the bathroom on Saturday afternoon to see his stand brushed. The sixth graders were crushed.

“I feel sad. I think it’s my fault for not leaving it unattended,” David said, adding he was glad he took the cash box and the rest of the scones inside.

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His sister was also frustrated.

“It was frustrating because we had that table for a long time, and it had emotional value,” Kimberly said, explaining that her parents received it as a gift from her cousins.

While their profits are still safe, everything else is gone, even the reusable water bottles and paper towels on the table. The theft was filmed on security cameras outside the Hough family’s home. The video shows a man parked in a white SUV and loading the sibling’s bracket into the truck. There appears to be a child in the back seat of the car.

The sibling’s father, also named David Hough, said he was appalled that someone would steal the child’s bakery. “I was devastated. It was like being kicked in the stomach,” he said. “How could someone do this to a child?”

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“David is very sad and frustrated, as is Kimberley,” Hough continued, adding that David felt responsible for the ordeal. “Both of them are frustrated.”

He contacted neighbors to ask if anyone knew who the thief was, but no one did. He said he considered calling the police but ultimately decided against it.

“I just think the police are dealing with a lot of other issues, and I don’t want them to be at a loss,” explained Hough, who was surprised by the theft because the family lived in a neighborhood with the lowest crime rate.

Still, he didn’t want to ignore it. He decided to share the video to the local news in the hope that the thieves might return the items and possibly apologise to his children, who he said had developed a “distrust of humanity” because of what had happened.

Although the perpetrators never surfaced, as the story went, a steady stream of support poured in. Within days, the Hough siblings received hundreds of messages of encouragement from strangers. The police also stopped to show support and stressed that David was not responsible for the theft.

“I’m lucky to be in a community where other people care about everyone,” said the young David.

“People did their best to help us by reaching out and supporting us,” echoed his sister.

David Ricci and his wife Elizabeth Aiello, who live on the same block as the Houghs, have stopped at their stall several times over the past month to get snacks . They especially love scones.

“I’m not lying when I tell you this: they’re incredible,” said Ricci, 48.

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In addition to their love of scones, the couple admire David’s ambition and want to support his entrepreneurial endeavors.

“I think it’s admirable for him to work hard to achieve his goals,” Rich said. “This kid has it.”

When he heard that David’s booth had been stolen, he and his wife ventured to a hardware store to buy a table and cooler, which they then delivered to Hough’s home.

David and Kimberly are elated and ready to go back to work.

“It felt really good,” said Kimberly, who started baking more scones.

“The kids are so happy to be back in business so quickly,” her father said. “I’m so proud of them.”

Tim Byrne, who lives in Barrie, 55 miles north of Toronto, saw the story and wanted to contribute. Knowing that David was working on a new Xbox, he decided to deliver one.

“I was an entrepreneurial kid all my life,” said Byrne, 54, who spent his childhood mowing lawns and doing other odd jobs to make money. He was concerned that the theft might prevent David from continuing his business, so he decided to step in.

“I hope I can inspire him to keep going,” Byrne said.

The siblings also received dozens of offers to donate to their businesses, which they respectfully declined.

“We made it clear how we don’t want a GoFundMe,” Kimberly said, adding that she could almost buy herself a new phone. “We want to work for money.”

In the past week, Hove Delights has received about 70 order requests — including from fans in the U.S. — and the siblings are working on a plan to expand the business to offer shipping options.

“People from all over the world want to help by buying scones,” said Kimberly, who starts 10th grade on Wednesday. “We’re still trying to navigate. We need to have a plan.”

At the same time, though, their father said his children learned a valuable lesson.

“There are more good people than bad people in this world,” Hough said. “That’s the underlying story here.”

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