An inspiring immigration Story!
When I was a kid, I lived in New England and one of my favorite places to eat was Dunkin’ Donuts. They had the most fluffy and delicious donuts when I was young. Little did I know then that they weren’t the be all end all of the donut shops in this country. It turns out they were a big deal on the East Coast, but couldn’t break in on the West Coast. California had Winchell’s and Christy’s owned and operated by The Donut King, Ted Ngoy.
Ted grew up in Cambodia as a kid and as a young man, the Khmer Rouge took over his country and forced all the people out of the cities and into internment camps. Ted and his family were able to escape to America where they were housed in different internment camps ran by the military. Cambodians were able to leave the camps if they could get a family to sponsor them. Ted and his family got sponsored by a church, its minister, and his family. This was able to help Ted and his family make a life for themselves in America.
What America stands for is immigrants coming to this country and making it in America, one way or another. In Ted’s case, he went to work for Winchell’s where he learned the donut business firsthand. He turned working for Winchell’s into a donut empire. His education as a kid in Cambodia helped him create this business. He even brought in his family from Cambodia. His cousins, uncles, and friends all came over from Cambodia and he helped them all learn the donut business. Of course, like any other business, even the donut business had to evolve and change.
Exotic donut flavors and hybrids have emerged. The new generation of donut shops has thrived in California along with Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks. Ted has inspired young Cambodians to take up the business he made so successful in California. They didn’t want to get into the family business, but they didn’t want to let their family down. Cambodians always stick together. They stick together because they are family. The family business stays in the family.
As an Irish American, I learned about what my countrymen did for this country, helping it grow by building the roads and bridges and infrastructure of the country. Immigrants are the backbone of America. Ted Ngoy is the epitome of what this country stands for. His life and its ups and downs are what we all strive for in this country. This film shows all of that in spades. These slice of life stories are why movies were created. The world needs more Donut Kings in it. This was a great inspiring film for any person from any walk of life. Everybody can relate to The Donut King in one way or another.
4 1/2 stars
Dan Skip Allen