My husband and I are the children of immigrants to this country. They had heard about the "American Dream" and wanted to experience that for not only themselves, but for their children and their children as well.
My parents arrived here from Vietnam in their early 20's and settled in Texas, where I was born. My husband, Boun, and his family were sponsored by a church group here in Portland.
Our parents found that if they were going to be able to truly experience the dream, it was not going to be without a tremendous amount of hard work. It was their work ethic that has become their greatest gift to us. We learned from them the value of hard work in order to succeed in life.
Today we are living the dream that our parents set out to achieve. Our hope is that through our labor, our children will see the lessons of their grandparents modeled in us and become productive citizens through the careers that they will eventually choose.
What events led you to start Delicious Donuts?
Boun first learned how to make donuts from his brother-in-law and has been fine-tuning his technique for over a decade now. Prior to opening the shop, I worked as a dental assistant for five years. The most valuable lesson I learned from work was the importance of getting to know my patients. I now runs the front counter and enjoys connecting with our customers.
Running Delicious Donuts has been a lot like a marriage – requiring love, commitment, and hard work. For the first nine years Delicious Donuts was open seven days a week. Following the birth of our third son, Boun and I decided to close on Sundays to spend more time with family. However, the Delicious Donuts mission remains the same – make delicious food and treat every customer like family.
My favorite donut is maple bar. Boun's favorite donut is chocolate covered old fashioned.
What are you passionate about?
I love working with people, I love to make people happy and address their needs. When a customer comes in, it’s like therapy for them. They’re like family. Customers will come in and tell me their day and their story. If they need to vent I have open ears to listen.
That’s what people need - they need someone to talk to.
I have a lot of customers that I know personally that are going through cancer or they’ve lost loved ones. I had a guy that came in whose mother is dying from cancer. I save his favorite donut - a buttermilk bar- every morning. And he will come in to read and eat his favorite donut.
What was the biggest change from when you started Delicious Donuts to now?
Our biggest change was our branding. Before we didn't have much money so we just hurried up and opened.
One of our old customers moved back to Portland three years ago. They sat down and said "Hey Penny, you need an image, you need a brand. You need to stand out."
We sat down and told our story about Boun and I and she came up with the two lovebirds in the center of the donuts. The colors are our wedding colors.
Our other biggest change was finally stopping wholesale. We used to rely on wholesale to stay in business for the first five years - like gas stations and markets.
We have a family now, three boys and a dog. We had to give ourselves a break and just focus on retail.
How will you prepare for International Donut Day?
Boun will come in at 8:00 PM the night before and start measuring out all the doughs and pre-measuring all the flours. Dalen will come in at 11:00 PM and help us with all the dipping and frying. We will make close to 5000 donuts and probably go through 300 pounds of dough. We are here baking and frying.
Continue to make Delicious Donuts.