The Donut King: The Rags to Riches Story of a Poor Immigrant Who Changed the World (English Edition) eBook: Ngoy, Ted: Amazon.de: Kindle-Shop Less than a decade later, he was a multimillionaire at the helm of an unlikely empire of independent donut shops that continue to dominate the west coast and fend off advances by large chains such as Dunkin’ Donuts. Also Jerry Brown, who we’ve seen in California as our beacon of hope and morality, in 1975 was actually the opposite. Interestingly, largely because of Democratic policy we got a grant for our camera and it came from this girl, who was the daughter of Vietnamese refugees who landed in Arkansas. Help might be on the way. What was it like?I spoke with him and he was in Cambodia. When he was unable to pay back his debt, he would sign over his store to them. Ted Ngoy "The Donut King" Interview by Isabelle Cheam at Cambodia Town Culture Festival on April 8th, 2018. He saw an opportunity to expand his business and help the large number of poor, unassimilated Cambodians who had fled the Khmer Rouge to the United States. Ngoy also involved himself in American politics, joining the Republican Party and hosting fundraisers for George H.W. I am the child of immigrants who came and moved here for the American dream. Ted and a lot of the Asians who came aligned themselves with the Republican party. 2,912 likes. Ted Ngoy Realty To understand the politics, the Republican party at the time was a very anticommunist party. In … Ngoy would often visit Las Vegas for a period of a week, unbeknownst to his wife. Ted Ngoy sits on the bed in the room in Long Beach in November, 2004. I ended up not sharing that donut. Within three years of his arrival, Ngoy had became a millionaire with his own chain of doughnut shops across the city. Ted Ngoy Realty, Kompot Chhuk, Kampong Thum, Cambodia. At his peak, Ngoy owned 65 shops and his wealth was estimated at US$20 million. He soon desired to open his own donut shop. And it was actually a donut that I refused at first from Mayly Tao, the Donut Princess. Christy was in the front and made a lot of inroads with the community and built a lot of bridges. Over the years, he led thousands of his countrymen into... Erstklassige Nachrichtenbilder in hoher Auflösung bei Getty Images There’s so much competition. He lost everything and had to start from scratch. Ngoy's gambling had progressed from the card tables to placing bets on sports games with Cambodian bookies. The two eventually began a secret correspondence via letters delivered by the Khoeun family maid. There’s also the moment where Ted revisits his former home in Mission Viejo. Some of the interviews in the film seemed that way.It was actually really wonderful to speak with particularly his older kids Chet and Savy, who until that interview, they didn’t have much to do with him. He subsequently received training through an affirmative action program to increase minority hiring within the Winchell's chain of doughnut shops, and managed a store in Newport Beach where he employed his wife and nephew. Ngoy's political career ended in 2002 after breaking with two powerful allies, the commerce minister and the head of the Cambodian Chamber of Commerce. Search Search Microsoft.com. I told him that he has a story to tell. I thought it was so profound that this was the very same community that just a couple of decades earlier were making fun of somebody who worked at the counter and had an accent. The city of Irvine has settled a 1st Amendment lawsuit that alleged former Irvine Mayor Christina Shea blocked a resident after he posted comments on her personal page in support of the Black Lives Matter movement. He is nicknamed the "Donut King." She’s currently a features reporter for TimesOC where she covers art, books, entertainment, trends and cultural issues related to Orange County. He wanted to be with her, but he had no one else to manage the shop. TimesOC’s e-newspaper includes all six pages of Sunday’s coverage of Orange County. , Ngoy's fortunes improved dramatically, such that by the mid-1980s Ngoy had amassed millions of dollars through his expanding doughnut shop empire, reported as 50 locations throughout California. Thousands sign petition demanding resignation of O.C. Chuong Lee Tao passed down DK’s Donuts in Santa Monica to her daughter Mayly Tao, who updated the shop with a vast menu and a worldwide social media following. His story has been told through different angles in a couple of articles. It was really wonderful. TimesOC e-Newspaper: Sunday, Jan. 17, 2021. When he found one, he would sit out front in his car for hours, drinking coffee and tallying customers. , Ngoy worked at various jobs, including as a travel agent and tour guide, before joining the military in 1970. I’ve also never built an empire of donut shops, been wealthy, or rubbed shoulders with people with political influence. By 2005, after a failed political career in Cambodia, Ngoy was penniless and living on the porch of a fellow Parkcrest Christian Church parishioner's mobile home. "She … He dissolved his party and accused the government of corruption. In this condensed and edited conversation, Gu talks about the American dream, Cambodian American Republicans, 1970s Orange County and the best donut she ate during filming. The second time Ted came back to California, Chet took all this time off of work, took him to his timeshare in Oceanside and drove his dad around all over Southern California. It was a strategy that ended up working for them. , Military Career and Immigration to the United States, Last edited on 30 November 2020, at 09:04, "Rise and fall of Cambodian refugee 'Donut King' charted in award-winning film", http://articles.latimes.com/2005/jan/19/local/me-donutking19, "The story of the man they called the doughnut king", https://en.wikipedia.org/w/index.php?title=Ted_Ngoy&oldid=991486239, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, This page was last edited on 30 November 2020, at 09:04. Ted Ngoy on IMDb: Movies, Tv, Celebrities, and more... Oscars Best Picture Winners Best Picture Winners Golden Globes Emmys STARmeter Awards San Diego Comic-Con New York Comic-Con Sundance Film Festival Toronto Int'l Film Festival Awards Central Festival Central All Events It's the rags to riches story of a refugee escaping Cambodia, arriving in America in 1975 and building an unlikely multi-million-dollar empire baking America's favorite pastry, the donut. Something else about Orange County that I found so beautiful and touching while we were making this film, there was a man who owned a donut shop in Seal Beach and his wife was stricken with cancer. We had an instant connection and it felt like we were meant to be doing this story together. She divorced him soon after and has not since returned to Cambodia. I thought I would just get an exterior scene for context. Ngoy built a vast donut shop empire across California and it started in 1970s Orange County. Ted is the first Cambodian refugee to start a donut shop in California. Also, significantly for Ngoy, other Cambodian refugees and their children — donuts. Ted Ngoy is from Cambodia, and his story starts and ends here. Somewhere along the line, things shifted. EN. While working a second job at a gas station, Ngoy took notice of a busy local doughnut shop and inquired of its operators about learning the business. He’s really funny. , In 2013, he was living in Phnom Penh working in the real estate business. He didn’t want to build a brand. Although the locations shared a name, he made no effort to give them a cohesive brand identity. There’s this portion in the film that goes into Ted and his ex-wife Christy’s experiences in Orange County during the 70s. Suganthini's parents and cousins hid behind curtains in the home to ensure Ngoy would break off the relationship. In 1985, Ngoy and his wife became American citizens assuming the American names of Ted and Christy, respectively, and were enjoying a lavish lifestyle including a million dollar home at Lake Mission Viejo, a vacation home in Big Bear, expensive cars, and vacations to Europe. The world moves so quickly now, but I do believe that it is still real and it is still possible. That really broke the ice for us. He also sponsored more than 100 Cambodian refugee families and established a path of financial opportunity for them in America. He suggested that Ted hang out in the back and to put Christy in the front. He was raised by his mother, who was from Shantou, Guangdong, and who only spoke Chinese. The other discovery for me was what I called Donut Generation 2.0, the kids who go to take over the parents’ mom and pop shops. His secret: hard work in the extreme, a willingness to learn, and sheer determination. After cry, go back gambling." They barely talked to him. The next day, he flew back to Los Angeles leaving behind his new wife and their two children. I think that’s the American way — the power of connections and people. They have social media and know how to work it to innovate their parents’ old donut shops with a worldwide following. He says to me, “Alice, making money — it’s so easy. He not only made a success of himself; he shared his good fortune with scores of relatives and friends. Through the maneuvering of his brother-in-law, chief of police and briefly future president of Cambodia, Sak Sutsakhan, Ngoy was promoted to the rank of major and appointed military attache at Cambodia's embassy in Thailand. I can’t take credit for it, but I do feel like in the making of this film and having some of these people face feelings that they hadn’t confronted in many years, it was very healing. EN - English; ES - Español Like everyone else, Orange County Asian Americans have struggled to adjust to the new reality brought on by the coronavirus pandemic. Is there anything that you left on the cutting room floor that you still think about?There are a lot of things that I still think about on the cutting room floor. And she said she knew a lot of people in her parents’ generation who are lifelong Republicans and that’s why they hate the Democratic party. , Despite the wealth he had amassed and his importance within his community, Ngoy felt dissatisfied, remarking that he had "No political life, no religious life, just work, work. Ted sponsored hundreds of visas for incoming refugees and helped them get on their feet teaching them the ways of the donut business. Ngoy spent a total of 45 days in the mansion before being discovered by Suganthini's parents and subsequently kicked out. school board member who was at Capitol rally. When you first reached out to Ted, it was a cold call. Despite her sheltered life and being forbidden from having friends or leaving the house other than for school, Suganthini fell in love. He formed the Free Development Republican Party ahead of the country’s UN-backed elections believing that he could show others the path to wealth and hoping that in being a politician his gambling addiction would be stymied. The donut business isn’t easy. He said he’s Chinese Cambodian and we spoke Mandarin for a couple of minutes. Irvine settles lawsuit that accused former Irvine mayor of violating a resident’s 1st Amendment rights. Then he opened his first independent shop in La Habra, eventually covering the rest of O.C. ", After the establishment of a constitutional monarchy in 1993, Ngoy returned to Cambodia for the country's first elections. He was very surprised that anybody would find him and want to tell his stories. If you’ve ever enjoyed a donut that came from a pink box, you have Cambodian refugee Ted Ngoy to thank. Ngoy lived in a small attic apartment a couple blocks away from the Khoeun mansion and would play flute music at night to woo Suganthini. For a year and a half, I struggled with how I was going to get access to that Mission Viejo mansion. That phrase “Donut King” is already so eye-catching right off the bat. The same goes for if you’ve been to California and tasted a donut from one of the many shops owned by many other Cambodian refugees like Ngoy, who have proven over time to be a top competitor with the likes of Dunkin’ Donuts and Starbucks. What new information did you learn in the making of the film?There was a lot that was new to me. Since then her writing has appeared in Calendar, Lifestyle, Metro and Sports sections of the paper. She served brief stints as a city reporter for the Daily Pilot and an education reporter for the Burbank Leader and Glendale News-Press. I wanted to tell this story in a way that was inspirational and optimistic. Interviews can sometimes feel like a therapy session. The Ngoys decided to keep uniformity amongst their shops, naming subsequent acquisitions Christy's. I ate the whole thing. After several years of hard work, the family took their first holiday and they went to Las Vegas. That was super mind blowing for me to hear the political flip-flop and really insightful about another time when politics were more civil and there could be discussion. It was hurtful. He wrote a book called “The Donut: History, Recipes, and Lore from Boston to Berlin” and he gave really fascinating insights into donut culture, history and our relationship to donuts in America. Ted Ngoy was born in the Cambodian village of Sisophon near the country's border with Thailand. and California landscape with a familiar coat — yellow strip mall signs with red lettering reading Christy’s Donuts. Upon deeper glance, it was so personal for me. In 1975, Ngoy fled the Khmer Rouge with his wife and three children to Camp Pendleton. Chet and Savy, Ted Ngoy’s oldest children, sit down for an interview in “The Donut King.”. UC Irvine library highlights materials from I-Ching to Astro Boy in its East Asian Collection. Literary Arts Festival spotlights local and visiting artists of color. We were taxed to the hilt, unemployment was high and he was very reluctant to give refugees a home here when Californians were out of work. He’s friends with Dana Rohrabacher. It was here that Ngoy had his first taste of gambling while placing bets at the Blackjack tables. Asian Americans and Pacific Islanders have posted lower infection rates compared to other racial and ethnic groups but make up about 19% of deaths from COVID-19. nonprofits have responded to the impact of COVID-19 on Asian American seniors and business owners. She got her start as an editorial assistant delivering mail and newspapers. , After a particularly devastating gambling loss in 1990, Ngoy flew to Washington, D.C. and joined a Buddhist monastery where he spent a month meditating. The couple were wed shortly after and had three children.  In doing the research and finding that it was President [Gerald] Ford who issued the executive order to receive the refugees, a Republican president — that was a huge surprise to me given that during the time that we were making this film we were hearing Donald Trump’s rhetoric. Director Alice Gu makes her film debut with “The Donut King,” following the life of Ted Ngoy. Support our coverage by becoming a digital subscriber. By 1990, the ‘doughnut king’ was reported to be in the grips of a serious gambling habit. People made fun of his accent. MEET ''TED NGOY'' If you walk into a doughnut shop in California, the chances are it's owned by a Cambodian family. He married Stephanie Ngoy, whose brother was one of Ted Ngoy’s first pioneers, and the couple ran two doughnut shops. , When his wife returned to California for the birthday of a grandchild in 1999, Ngoy began an affair with a young woman, serving as the final straw between him and his wife, Christy. Tell me more about how they connected to the local community.Ted came in the 70s and it was quite homogeneously white in Orange County at the time and a lot of people had never seen an Asian person, much less heard of a place called Cambodia. It was on the market. And I thought, “How could that be?” He’s passed away now so I can’t talk to him about it, but it was a learning experience for me about my parents’ relationship with politics. , Ngoy secured work as a janitor with Peace Lutheran Church in Tustin, California. Ngoy built a vast donut shop empire across California and it started in 1970s Orange County. Doing this film was really an exploration for me of understanding where you come from. I called her when I found out and asked if she knew about Ford and Brown. Bush and encouraged fellow Cambodian immigrants to support the GOP. By 1977 he was able to purchase his first doughnut shop, Christy's Donuts, in La Habra. Getting an appointment for the COVID-19 vaccine at Disneyland has proved to be difficult for many Orange County residents 65 and older. Designers Andrew Hem and Charlie Le were awarded a SWSW Film special jury recognition for their poster design of “The Donut King” in 2020. What drew you to Ted’s story at the start?Finding out about his story, it’s fascinating — a guy who comes here penniless and becomes a Donut King. With Ted baking, Christy handling the counter and the kids helping out, the Ngoys soon saved enough to buy their own shop for $45,000 in 1976. As part of its virtual exhibit “From I-Ching to Manga: UCI’s East Asian Collection Celebrating 30 Years,” the university library is offering online events throughout 2021 open to students and the community. A few return visits later, however, Ngoy began gambling. In 1975, a Cambodian refugee named Ted Ngoy and his family arrived in Southern California penniless. Khoeun's parents denied Ngoy's suitability as a mate for their daughter due to his lower social class, and instructed Ngoy to break off the relationship with Suganthini at a relative's home. He would forge her signature on checks and even borrow money from relatives who leased stores from him. A map of Christy’s Donuts, Winchell’s and Dunkin Donuts across California during the height of Ted Ngoy’s entrepreneurship in the 1970s through the 1990s. Ted Ngoy arrived in California with the American Dream in his heart. This caused tension in the Ngoy household, being the center of many arguments between Ngoy and his wife. The Donut King who went full circle – from rags to richesIf you walk into a doughnut He became tired running doughnut shops on his own and decided to train and lease shops to his relatives and employ Cambodian refugees. The premise of family in the film is how hard your parents work and the sacrifices they make so that you can have a life better than they did. One of them being my interview with Michael Krondl, the food historian. Some of his relationships didn’t end well. He would have no more donuts to sell so he could be with his wife for the rest of the day. Distraught at the turn of events, Suganthini overdosed on sleeping pills and fell into a coma, causing her parents to relent to the union shortly after the couple recovered. They’re savvy, young, hip. What is Ted up to in Cambodia nowadays?Ted is doing well. Ngoy and his family enjoyed the fruits of their labor and at one point moved into a 7,000-square-foot mansion in Mission Viejo. His sponsor told him people will have their prejudices but they mean well. His family had moved from a condominium to a three-storey, US$1 million mansion. I’m Chinese American. Santa Ana’s LibroMobile will host its third Literary Arts Festival on Jan. 23 through Instagram. You just have to see the opportunity and go for it.” Those are the wise words of Ted Ngoy. Ted Ngoy was a high school student in Phnom Penh when he first set eyes on Suganthini Khoeun, the daughter of a high-ranking government official. Which donut shop do you find yourself going back to for the sake of eating a donut?I had my out of body experience at DK’s Donuts and Bakery in Santa Monica. Upon his return to Orange County, Ngoy began gambling harder than ever stating "Monks cannot help me, Buddha cannot help me. These are all people who present day you don’t associate with welcoming refugees with open arms. Ngoy had little ego in the game; he didn’t care if his donut shops were easily identifiable as his. Cancel 0 Cart 0 items in shopping cart. The documentary goes back and forth between Ngoy and the present-day lives of second- and third-generation donut shop kids or what Gu refers to as Donut Generation 2.0. Ted's story is one of fate, love, survival, hard knocks, and redemption. He hosted Dan Quayle and Pete Wilson at his house. Vera Castaneda is a writer who has worked at the Los Angeles Times since 2016. He spent two months in Buddhist monasteries in Washington D.C and Thailand, to no avail. The king of the title, Ted Ngoy, was named Bun Tek Ngoy when he arrived in California in 1975, a refugee separated from his family. Also, significantly for Ngoy, other Cambodian refugees and their children — donuts. Shortly after reiterating what he was forced to say, he admitted that what was said was a lie and stabbed himself in the stomach. This is my own speculation, but it seemed like he had come to some peace with his dad and childhood. In our very first phone call, he asked if I was American and I told him that I was Chinese American. I’m also, again, the daughter of Chinese American immigrants and my dad was a big Republican party supporter. The proclaimed 'Donut King' taught his family how to build and sustain a business. Did working on this film change or contribute to your perspective of the American dream or immigrant stories?It seems like these days the American dream is harder and harder to attain. Ted Ngoy once owned a huge chain of doughnut shops across the US state of California and was known as “The Donut King”. In English, Mandarin and Cambodian with English subtitles; Not rated, Playing: Regency South Coast Village, Santa Ana, and in limited release where theaters are open; available via virtual cinemas, including Laemmle Theatres. 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