The Cambodian Exodus Donut Empire

January 5, 2011

I just had to share this with you two Future Business Mogus of America:

Have you noticed how the donut shop across from the Metro Cinema in the U-District, Ly’s Donuts and Espresso, has Cambodian-language posters on the walls?  And many donut places around LA?

Link1, Link2

It’s about how the California, Washington and Oregon donut business ended up being run by Cambodians.

It boils down to a certain ballsy Cambodian, Ted Ngoy, fleeing either death or brutal imprisonment at the grubby meat hooks of the Khmer Rouge, fleeing to the Marines’ Camp Pendleton near San Diego America where he worked odd jobs before learning the donut business.

This is right around the time that our indigenous donut industry was being metabolized down-river by Dunkin Donuts and Winchells.

So this Cambodian ends up buying and opening up DOZENS of donut shops all over California in order to (make a few bucks and) provide employment to the many other Cambodians who were landing there through the 70’s and 80’s, without skills or even the English language.

It’s really something.  If these guys can make it, so can anyone.

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