Cambodian Immigrants, Southern California, Doughnuts, and The Donut King

I’ve been fascinated by the life of Ted Ngoy, since first reading about him, likely in this article:

Over the years he’s come mind when driving past a strip mall and seeing a donut place; I’ll wonder if the business is (or was) associated with him and those he helped.

A documentary about his life was released last year:

It’s available on PBS Passport and Amazon Prime - unsure where else, but well worth finding and watching.

And those pink donut boxes?

Some additional interesting links:

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Before Mr Ngoy’s story became news, we remember reading of priest working with refugees to become self-sufficient and part of the American fabric. He happened on donuts because the business model had the advantages of requiring modest capital; it had stable market prospects; donuts did not involve extensive training or licensing; donuts were suitable for family as labor force; extensive English skills were not essential; and if stereotypes held, regular uniformed police trade provided a degree of visible security and introduction to local community.

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One more link with an update on Mr. Ngoy’s life (was posted on FTC):

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The large home the Ngoy’s had is on Lake Mission Viejo. We’ve lived within a mile of it for most of the last 35 years. It was vacant for long periods a couple of times and we had no idea who owned it at any point. I was watching the PBS documentary one evening a while ago and it includes a quick shot of the home. It was one of those Aha moments.

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linked from the Cambodian The Doughnut Kids Are All Right story is another doughnut story on Eater, an artist who did portraits of some of the “doughnut kids” on flattened pink doughnut boxes.

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Aye. And from the Eater piece about the donut box art is a link to this project about the Doughnut Families:

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Sunday market in Ubud, Indonesia
Credit: Roozbeh Rokni, Flickr