After several hours of selling scones on his front lawn in Toronto, David Hove needed a bathroom break. He left his curbside stand unattended for a few minutes, and in that brief time, it was stolen. The whole thing — including the cooler, a wicker folding table and some supplies — had vanished.
The only thing left behind was a handwritten sign that read “homemade lemon cranberry scones.”
He'd been selling lemonade and baked goods outside his home. While David dealt with customers, his 15-year-old sister, Kimberly, did the baking and recipe development. Their goal was to earn money. David dreamed of owning an Xbox, and Kimberly wanted a new cellphone. They split the profits.
So far, their stand had been a success. They sold sweet treats — such as cinnamon rolls, doughnuts, oatmeal cookies and scones — for between $2 and $3.50, depending on the size of the desert. Kimberly used her mother’s recipe for lemon-cranberry scones, which quickly emerged as the top-selling product.
But his excitement turned to disbelief when he returned from the bathroom that Saturday afternoon and saw that his stand had been swiped. The sixth-grader was crushed.
“I felt sad. I was thinking it was my fault for leaving it unguarded,” said David, adding that he’s glad he took the cash box and leftover scones inside with him.
They reached out to neighbors asking if anyone had any clue who the thief was, and no one did. He contemplated calling the police, he said, but decided against it.
But he decided to share the surveillance video with local news in the hope that maybe the thief would return the items and perhaps apologize to his children, who, he said, developed a “mistrust in humanity” as a result of what happened.
While the culprit wasn't found, the family received hundreds of encouraging messages from strangers. Police officers also stopped by to show their support and reinforce that David was not to blame for the theft.
“People went out of their way to help us by reaching out and supporting us,” echoed his sister.
David Ricci and his wife, Elizabeth Aiello, live in the same neighborhood as the Hove family, and stopped by their stand multiple times over the past month to pick up treats. They were especially fond of the scones.
“I’m not lying when I say this to you: They’re incredible.” The couple also admired David’s ambition and wanted to support his entrepreneurial efforts. “I thought it was admirable that he’s trying to reach his goals,” Ricci said. “This kid’s got it.”