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'Good karma': Cupcake customers flock to thank woman who rescued 3-year-old

SALT LAKE CITY — Since rescuing a young kidnapping victim during an Amber Alert Wednesday, local business owner Leslie Fiet has been overwhelmed by sweet-toothed well-wishers.

“I didn’t expect it at all,” Fiet said Friday of the response. “Missing kids are found all the time and you never hear about it the next day … Right?”

Fiet is the owner of Mini’s Cupcakes, a small sweets shop at 14 E. 800 South. After recognizing a black SUV parked in front of her shop as the focus of an Amber Alert that was sent to her cellphone Wednesday afternoon, Fiet recovered 3-year-old Bella Martinez through the vehicle's open window before bringing the girl into the shop and calling police.

Since then, customers have been lining up — often quite literally — to thank Fiet and support her business.

“It has been completely overwhelming,” Fiet said. “Things have been wildfire-crazy around here.”

Thursday’s unexpected crush of customers left Fiet underprepared and understaffed. When it became clear that she could not run the shop alone, two of her friends took the day off from their jobs to help serve customers and work the register while Fiet baked and chatted with customers.

Together, Fiet’s makeshift staff sold Mini’s tiny cupcakes until after 8 p.m., although the shop typically closes at 6 p.m. They then worked until midnight in preparation for Friday.

And the customers kept coming. Fiet called Friday “a repeat of yesterday,” saying the shop had been just as busy. While most visitors came from Salt Lake City, Fiet said she met people from all over the state, including many who drove significant distances just to thank her for locating young Bella.

“I don’t even have the words for it,” she said. “How do you describe people being so nice to you when you’re not used to nice people?”

Fiet’s shop has been burglarized twice in the past two months, making this spike in support a timely windfall for Mini’s. She said Thursday’s business will help her replace or repair several items, including a cash register and the glass front door, which was shattered by a rock in a burglary two weeks ago.

“It’s totally serendipitous,” Fiet said. “I think it’s good karma. We had such a … storm of stuff happening over the last month that my faith in people being nice was completely down the tubes. To see this overwhelming response from people has been crazy.”

Email: aoligschlaeger@deseretnews.com

Twitter: allisonoctober