It’s a Family Affair with California Donuts!

The California Donuts family. Photo by Joseph Nakhost.

Now, more than ever, ModCloth is dedicated to supporting small, independently-owned, local businesses. To honor this initiative, we decided to partner with California Donuts! The Los Angeles-based mom-and-pop donut shop has been creating a-glaze-ing donut creations since 1982. In honor of National Donut Day, we sat down with California Donuts to discuss the family-owned, family-run shop. You donut want to miss this story!

Photo by Joseph Nakhost.
California Donuts has been a family-owned LA institution since 1982. What are some highlights of the California Donuts story?

My parents both immigrated from Cambodia and came to America with nothing. They worked hard, saved their money, and when California Donuts disbanded their franchise, they got the opportunity to independently own our location in Koreatown on 3rd Street and New Hampshire. For many years, my mom worked the front window and my dad made donuts in the back. Fast forward, and the shop is still fully family-owned and operated with the addition of their two daughters and two son-in-laws. Our staff consists of extended family and neighborhood locals (some who even grew up eating California Donuts as kids!).

Since 1982, California Donuts has been a small mom-and-pop donut shop providing donuts and coffee to the local neighborhood. In the past few years, we’ve started experimenting with flavors and customized donuts, and that–coupled with utilizing social media as a platform–has really helped us reach a wider community. 

Photo by Joseph Nakhost.
All of the California Donut flavors look so tasty! What is the most popular with customers? What is the family’s personal favorite?

There are so many customer favorites, which probably explains why our window display is always filled with so many options! We just can’t part ways with any of them! Our Panda donut has definitely become a signature creation of our shop, but customers always come back for the Cookies and Cream, Fruity Pebbles, Horchata, and, of course, the classic Glazed and Chocolate donuts. 

Our family’s favorite though? Or at least mine? Our flaky, freshly baked CROISSANTS. Trust me, the ham and cheese (with jalapeño, if you’re feeling spicy!) and ask for it toasted in the oven. Enjoy it with our house brewed Thai Iced Tea, and top it off with your favorite donut flavor of choice for dessert!

We love that California Donuts is a family-run business. How does each member contribute to the store? What’s it all like working together as a family?

Honestly, it is truly a blessing. Initially, my parents put so much hard work and time into the donut shop to help support my sister and I, and to ideally, help support our future dreams. Little did they know that the ‘dream’ would BE the donut shop, and that we’d all be jumping on board to keep it going.

It’s been a labor of love from everyone in the family to grow it into what it is today. The shop is a 24 hour operating business, which means that ONE of us is usually at work and can’t make it to family dinner. But in the same regard, the business has brought us so much closer and gives us so much more purpose. 

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on 06/05/2020
Erica S

About Erica S

A proud plant mom, Erica can be spotted in between trips to the nursery at her local hiking trail, or on the hunt for her next favorite ramen spot. A lifelong lover of live music, you can usually find her singing or humming a tune - most likely a late '90s pop hit.

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