Wasabi Juan’s receives generous donation following weekend burglary at Birmingham location

Local News

BIRMINGHAM, Ala. (WIAT) — As CBS 42 reported Monday, Wasabi Juan’s was one of the five business broken into Sunday night. That left owners Luis and Barbie Toro with a broken door and a bill for over $1,100.

Then, they received a generous donation.

The Toros had been struggling to bring in customers since Gov. Kay Ivey’s imposed order for all restaurants to close their dining areas. While fighting to profit enough to keep their two restaurants locations open, burglars broke in. This left the Toros with extensive repair costs.

Footage of break-in at the 2nd Ave. Wasabi Juan’s location

“What am I going to do now?,” Luis Toro explained his initial thoughts when he received the bad news. “Am I going to buy inventory or I am I going to fix the door?”

Front door of Wasabi Juan’s that was broken into Sunday night.

Luis Toro reluctantly posted a GoFundMe page, asking their community for donations. Chris Carr, founder of the nonprofit The Just People Project, then paid the Toros a visit.

“[Carr} said, ‘Hey how much is the door,'” Toro explained his conversation with Carr. “I said the door is about $800 to $900, plus the register is about $300.  He says, ‘Oh okay no problem. Here, we’ll right you a check right there.'”

Toro was in disbelief and full of gratitude for Carr’s generosity.

“They’re like family to us,” Carr said about the Toros. “We’ve been working together for years, they’ve helped with the Just People’s Project and we wanted to help.”

Once the Toros’ story was publicized, take-out and delivery orders came into Wasabi Juan’s at a rapid and consistent pace not even a day after posting the GoFundMe page.

“We’re going to throw The Just People Project members a sushi burrito party once this all calms down,” Toro said. “We are just so grateful.”


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