Cara Bunt was armed with flowers and regret over someone else’s crimes as she arrived on the doorstep of Parksville’s Ivy Nails and Salon on Thursday.
“They’re such nice people,” said Bunt, who manages Classic Kitchen next door to the Morison Avenue salon.
“And I just wanted them to know that we support them and we’re their friends.”
It was a feeling shared by neighbour Kymon Giakoumakis, who called the salon owners extremely hardworking and kind.
“It made me just sick to my stomach that that would happen” said Giakoumakis, who owns Extreme Eatery.
The South Korean-owned salon has been targeted twice by vandals in recent days, just as they prepared to reopen after being closed due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Not a single other business on the block was touched.
“I have no idea just why this happened to only my store when no other businesses were hit,” co-owner of Ivy Nails & Spa Brian Yoon told CHEK News Wednesday.
“Only [at] my store people broke things,” he said.
The incident has left many to fear it’s linked to growing anti-Asian racism amid the pandemic. Since CHEK News shared the salon’s story, a flood of kindness has poured in.
“I’m very surprised,” said Yoon.
“People not from an Asian country, they surprised me,” he said.
New clients have made bookings to reassure the salon’s owners they are wanted here.
“They’re really supportive to the owners,” said Lilian Lee, who works at Ivy Nails & Spa.
“Because they text the owners, they call to the store several times and say like they’re sorry to hear about that and they really support [them],” she said.
“I feel it’s very warm,” said Yoon.
“Canada is a very warm country,” he said.
So instead of the acts of vandalism closing the salon’s doors, they have actually grown support for the small business.
“And you know what they should be,” said Giakoumakis.
“Because it’s not fair that anybody has to go through that or feel that.”