Local Donut Shop Responds To Yelp Review Complaining Of Homeless Man In Most Endearing Way

November 25, 2019

A one-star Yelp review complaining about a homeless man sited outside San Diego's Nomad Donuts resulted in a most compassionate response from the eatery's owner.

Opened in December 2014 by Brad Keiller, Nomad Donut's made a name for itself with its eclectic array of ever-changing, globally-inspired donut flavors, including gluten free and vegan options. In 2017, the eatery relocated with the opening of a larger North Park location, which added Montreal-style wood-fired bagels to the menu, as well as coffee and breakfast sandwiches. Nomad Donuts brought a satellite location to downtown San Diego's Emmes 701B office tower last summer, but that branch has since closed and is now The Bean Box. Earlier this year, Keiller launched a Kickstarter campaign to raise money needed to upgrade the outside exterior and patio of Nomad, but the crowd-sourced campaign fell short of its $17,800 goal and was not funded. 

Nomad Donuts Owner Brad Keiller
"A homeless guy has *lived* (morning noon and night) against the front entrance for about a year.," read a 1-star review by user Fuller M. on Nomad Donuts' Yelp Page that has since been deleted. "Really makes me feel great about spending $5 on a jelly donut."

Nomad owner Brad Keiller could have ignored the review or responded with annoyance to the original poster, but he chose a different route entirely.

"Hi Fuller, Thanks for coming into the shop," wrote Keller in his response. "We've appreciated your support over the years, even at the original one on 30th St! I'm sorry that Ray ruined your experience on your last visit. Know that he would like you to continue buying $4 donuts from Nomad everyday and doesn't want you to feel guilty about it. Our 'new' location on University has a lot more homeless people than the original on 30th St and it had really been an issue until Ray started hanging out outside the shop. He keeps the problematic ones away. Yes, we've had many of those on meth, heroin and such that I've had to almost forcibly remove from the shop but Ray keeps them away. Ray is a former computer programmer with some physical and psychological challenges but he is very intelligent and respectful. I speak with him almost everyday. I like him. He is part of our community. The outside of the building provides him shelter from the sun, rain and the building slab gives warmth at night. I understand how you feel, it's not easy to look at. I know I probably lose some business, possibly yours too, because of my choice not to chase him away but I won't. He's not looking for handouts and he tries not to bother anyone. If you stop and talk with him maybe you'll come to like him too. Respectfully, Brad."

With our city's homeless population increasing and becoming an epidemic, as detailed in a recent mind-blowing article about issues at downtown's Central Library, it is nice to see someone like Brad approaching the issue with human compassion and kindness. We should support businesses like Nomad Donuts. 

Nomad Donuts is located at 3102 University Avenue in San Diego's North Park. For more information, visit nomaddonuts.com.