KPFA Presents

How donuts brought one family of Cambodian refugees to Oakland

Colonial Donuts is a 24-hour donut shop in Oakland by Lake Merritt. It’s also one of many Cambodian immigrant-owned donut shops in California. That’s thanks to Ted Ngoy, also known as the Donut King, a Cambodian-American refugee. In the 1970s and 80s, he helped other Cambodian refugees run and buy donuts stores across the state. He was also known fondly as Uncle Ted.

In this episode, we’ll hear from Phing Yamamoto, who left her tech job to manage the family business, Colonial Donuts and hear how that business supported her family after they fled the Khmer Rouge genocide in Cambodia. Phing was in conversation with Miko Lee, host of KPFA’s APEX Express.


Photo: Phing Yamamoto of Colonial Donuts. Courtesy of Phing Yamamoto.