Neighborhood puts 10-year-old baker back in business after his curbside bake stand gets stolen




David Hove had only gone indoors for a few minutes. The 10-year-old home baker needed a bathroom break after hours of selling scones on his front lawn in Toronto. But in those few minutes that he left his curbside stand unattended, it was stolen. All of it—the cooler, a wicker folding table and some supplies—had seemingly vanished into thin air when the young boy came back outside. The only thing that the thief left behind was David's "homemade lemon cranberry scones" handwritten sign. "I felt sad. I was thinking it was my fault for leaving it unguarded," said the boy told The Washington Post, adding that he's glad he had the foresight to take the cash box and some leftover scones inside with him.

David and his 15-year-old sister Kimberly had been running their small baked-goods business, The Hove Delights, for about a month when the thief struck. The pair operated the stand for a few hours a day on weekdays where the sixth grader dealt with customers and his sister handled the baking and recipe development. They'd set up the stand with the aim of making some money to buy an Xbox for David and a new cellphone for Kimberly. Their sweet treats—including cinnamon rolls, doughnuts, oatmeal cookies and scones—proved a huge hit with the neighbors in no time. "I felt pretty happy,” David said about his business. "I love communicating with other people."

Their brother-sister duo was crushed when their stand was stolen. "It was frustrating, because we had that table for a long period of time, and it held sentimental value," Kimberly said, explaining that the wicker table was a gift to her parents from a cousin. A security camera outside the Hove family's home caught the thief in action. The footage reportedly shows a man stopping in a white SUV—with what appears to be a child in the back seat—and loading the siblings' stand into his truck. "I was so upset. It was like being kicked in the gut," said the siblings' father, who is also named David Hove. "How can somebody do this to kids?"

"David was so heartbroken and devastated, and Kimberly as well," Hove added. "They were both so down." Although the concerned father reached out to neighbors asking if anyone had any information about the thief, it proved to be a dead end. He also contemplated calling the police, he said, ultimately decided against it. "I just thought the police are dealing with a lot of other issues, and I don't want to stretch them thin," Hove explained. However, he wasn't ready to lay the matter to rest. Hove shared the security camera footage with local news in the hope that the thief might have a change of heart and return the items and perhaps apologize to his children. Although that did not happen, a steady stream of support poured in from their community as the story spread.

Within days, hundreds of messages from strangers encouraged the Hove siblings to keep going. David also received a surprise visit from police officers who reassured him that he was not to blame for the theft. "I feel very lucky to be in a community that other people care about every person," the boy said. "People went out of their way to help us by reaching out and supporting us." However, the biggest surprise came from two of their customers—David Ricci and his wife, Elizabeth Aiello—who bought the siblings a new table and cooler for their business. Over the past week, The Hove Delights team has also been inundated with about 70 order requests and is now in the process of expanding their business to offer shipping options.

Meanwhile, Hove said his children have learned a valuable lesson from the whole experience. "In this world, there are way more good people than bad," he said. "That's the underlying story here."




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