Saturday, September 12, 2009

DOUGHNUT MAN

This a photo of Chine. He is from Cambodia.He and his lovely wife run the shop. Apparently there are no other employees. Ever wonder why so many donut shops are run/owned by Cambodian? In Cambodia they don't know what a donut is. But they sure do in California. It's about 3 p.m., closing time; Chine, who's probably been at his Donut shop since 3 a.m. rests his elbows on the big and nearly empty glass case. Chine calls everyone "Boss" and has a winning smile. He is very congenial and easy to talk to. He has been in the U.S. for only 7 years and yet his language skills are remarkably good. I was impressed by him on so many levels.

Every morning that I came to Los Gatos for physical re-hab at SpineOne, I would stop by the Donut Shop and have a cake donut and a cup of coffee. Both were absolutely delicious. It was a great way to relax with the San Jose Mercury News and a good cup of joe. When I arrived at SpineOne I was awake and ready for a very busy day of physical exercise. I really recommend this place.
Further down the blog is a group of men I called "THEY". One of them owns this motorcycle. It's beautiful. The owner of the bike purchased for his wife so they could go riding together. He's very fortunate to have a wife that shares his passion for riding.



California a likely place for Cambodians to settle. It's the first place many immigrants from the Far East arrive. The donut trade a mighty tight niche business, but California is becoming home to more and more Cambodian Americans, and the sweet shops have come with them. A U.S.Census studay in 2005 reported an estimated 350,000 Cambodians in California.

Immigrants from this Southeast Asian nation poured into the U.S. in the early 1980s, once the U.S. government granted haven to Cambodians fleeing their country's holocaust. The Khmer Rouge and murderous regime of Pol Pot forced many thousands of Cambodians into slave labor camps; an estimated million people died of starvation, torture, and execution. By 1980, large numbers of Cambodian refugees in Thailand began relocating to the U.S. From their first scattered settlements in this country, Cambodian immigrants created large communities in Long Beach, California, now home to 170,000 Cambodian Americans.

Why would so many Cambodians, striving to support themselves in a new country, reach for the dough ring? Their business pioneer was Ted Ngoy, an ethnic Chinese Cambodian, who arrived in the U.S. in 1975. Working as a janitor in Long Beach, Ngoy sampled his first donut, and then managed to get hired by Winchell's, a donut chain in southern California. Two years later, he had saved enough to buy the first of many dozens of donut stores.

Ngoy is the one who found a way for Cambodian immigrants to become part of the American dream of owning their own business. Taking a loan from an Asian loaning society, Ngoy was able to buy two stores, operate them for awhile and then sell to someone in the community or a family member who wanted to buy them. That's how they got into it.

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Santa Cruz, CA, United States
I am a very shy introverted photographer. My psycho-therapist says that I may be able to come out of my shell almost any time now.