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$1 pop lady shares her 'passion' for running Port Coquitlam café

A kind gesture got a huge response. Now the owner of the café at the Hyde Creek Recreation Centre is sharing her thanks to the community for its support.
Yeon Sill Lee is grateful for the support of her little Port Coquitlam café.

The owner of a Port Coquitlam café is overwhelmed by the support of the community after it was revealed she kindly cut the price of a drink to help a young boy in a time of need.

Shared by Alisha Youbi on social media and on the Tri-City News' website — and shared by nearly 1,000 readers — Youbi recalled how the owner the concession stand inside the Hyde Creek Recreation Centre sold the pop to the boy for just $1 in a "sale" when she learned the boy only had a loonie.

The actual price of the drink was $1.95.

Café owner and operator Yeon Sill Lee tells the Tri-City News she was surprised and humbled by the response.

"I never thought a small gesture of kindness would result in an uproar of interest and affection from the community," said Lee. 

"Although it is positively overwhelming, I am ever more thankful for everyone's very kind words."

The single mom, who has owned the business for five years, said she feels a strong "passion" and a sense of "duty" to serve the "best type of food" and is grateful for the community coming back to the café, which had to close during the COVID-19 pandemic.

"I was glad to finally reopen in October of 2021 and even more happy to know that many of the locals haven't forgotten my small little café over those years," Lee adds. 

"I am truly grateful to the community of Port Coquitlam who continue to support my business despite the hardship we have all faced. To me, the small gesture of kindness was a fraction of how much the community has supported me.

"I have always told my kids to lead by example and to help others. I am glad to be part of such a wonderful community and excited to move forward with the community as we rebuild into a bright future. From the bottom of my heart, thank you and I will do my best."

The Hyde Creek Recreation Centre in PoCo is an aquatics complex with a lap and leisure pool, steam room and sauna, as well as a fitness area and sport courts.

For many people who hang out, the concession centre is a calm oasis, where you can get everything from sandwiches to burgers, fries and fried chicken.

According to the City of Port Coquitlam, the café owners are "wonderful people and truly part of the Hyde Creek community."