The Donut King: The Rags to Riches Story of a Poor Immigrant Who Changed the World By Ted Ngoy


Having gone through similar struggles regarding moving to a new country and continent, this book touched me. Ted is from Cambodia and while his writing style is not extremely elaborate, it does reach out the reader and takes us into his personal journey and struggles.
Thank you Netgalley for the advance copy. I enjoyed it. 9780999432600 Came across this book after watching a news clip about Cambodian immigrants and donut shops. I had no idea about the history of the community in Southern California or the donut shops and was intrigued to read more. Ted Ngoy tells us his life story from escaping Cambodia as a refugee and arriving in Southern California to rise to be owner of many donut shops plus his foray into politics, his downfall and what he is doing now in Cambodia.

Whew. It was a story. It ended being really interesting to read how he came to the US with nothing after a poor upbringing being raised by a single mother and then fleeing horrible violence (his in-laws were not so lucky) to eventually running many donut shops. The story of an immigrant who arrives with little or nothing and then has much more, plus missed opportunities by both major political parties to engage Cambodians and how he rose again after multiple divorces, losing pretty much everything.

I think a lot of immigrants may recognize themselves or people they know in Ngoy. Personally I found the sections on his political involvement really fascinating (such as name-dropping the likes of Congressman Dana Rohrabacher or Sen. John McCain, who had passed away very soon before this review) and lost interest as it moved to his downfall due to his gambling addiction and eventual return to Cambodia. But overall it was a good read.

Admittedly I thought I wasn't sure what kind of book this would be, since it appears to be independently published but the writing is serviceable and it kept my attention, even if it wasn't always a page-turner. English might not have been his first language and maybe he had a really good editor/help but it was a story that will stick with me.

It would have been nice to have more about the donut shops, especially the families who came here and were sponsored by Ngoy and his then-wife but I also appreciated that it did not get too technical or bogged down on stuff like real estate deeds or paperwork or the like.

I bought this and didn't mind. Happy to support the author. Would say this is really a 3.5 but I'll bump it up to 4 stars and recommend it. 9780999432600 Needs more donuts.

Honestly, this wasn't a tale about donuts. This was about a Cambodian refugee who fled his homeland to California, found a break selling donuts, grew his fortune and then went back to Cambodia to improve his home country more than anyone before him. The tale of this man, Ted Ngoy, is worth the read. It reminds us all just how well we have it here in the states, a position of comfortability we take for granted on a daily basis.

With that said, though, the title is a bit misleading. The Donut King you would think the main focus would be about the business journeys of a donut entrepreneur. There are donuts on the cover. The synopsis mentions how he had to fend off other companies such as Dunkin Donuts. The book itself makes no mention of this donut war. He also doesn't bother to go into the details of his donuts; no flavors, varieties, etc. The donuts take a backseat to his personal story.

Again, the book is about his journey; his struggles as a child, his rise to wealth, his fall due to a gambling addiction, his pursuit in politics to further his home country. Even then, there are mentions in his personal life that are glossed over quicker than his bread and butter claim to fame that established his title as the Donut King. The book is far too short to give just due to the amazing life this man has lived, and the brief history of the pastries that allowed him to live his life unfortunately left me hungry for more.

Still, I recommend everyone read this book. There are a few heartwarming moments and tragic turns of events that will invoke your emotions. His story will keep you humble and will help you remember that regardless of where you come from, we still have an obligation to help each other when we can. We may live in different countries, but we're all neighbors. 9780999432600 The trifecta of donuts, Southern California, and refugees is almost holy to me, combining three of the things I care most about in this world. So it was good to read the autobiographical “origin story” of the Cambodian mom-and-pop donut shops that sprinkle so much of CA. The donut story is really just a couple chapters in a much longer tale that spans Khmer Rouge persecution, gambling addictions, Orange County republican and Cambodian politics, multiple marriages - just a glimpse at a whole life, really, for whatever inspiration or lessons can be gleaned form it. 9780999432600 This was a nice and short inspirational read about a Chinese Cambodian refugee who left his war-torn country behind with his family in tow and settled in Southern California where he built a donut empire. When he became successful, he gave other Cambodian refugees an opportunity to live their own American Dream, but he never forgot about his homeland. This guy had a great sense of community and perseverance, and he never allowed failure to define who he was. 9780999432600

I read this book because it was recommended to me by a friend of his ex wife. There are parts of the story that I found fascinating, especially his early years as a young man and after his arrival in California. He was in orange county, and he was the king of donut shops. 9780999432600 Thank you to NetGalley and the author for an advance read of this title. I enjoy stories about entrepreneurs and how they got started, and this was no exception. In fact, it was interesting, because Ngoy had to fight some of his own demons/vices to get to success. It was a great tale about Southern California in the 70s, and how he worked so hard, learning from the chains, but not giving in to selling out to them. I highly recommend this book. It's honest, heartfelt and full of interesting anecdotes. 9780999432600 It’s a short book, probably can read it in a day. But written very well, i was eager to read each page. But a bit rushed towards the end, hence the 4 stars instead.

So much to learn from this man. His tenancy, mistakes, resilience...almost fiction, if it wasn’t the fact that he was the author himself.

Do yourself a favour and read it. You won’t regret it. 9780999432600

In 1975, a Cambodian refugee named Ted Ngoy and his family arrived in Southern California penniless. 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.

Then he lost it all. It wasn't the first time, and it wouldn't be the last. Racked with guilt, homeless in his sixties, and supporting two small children, he set out to build a new life.

Ngoy's story is one of survival, hard knocks, and the indomitable spirit of a singular man with unparalleled vision. He has gone from rich to poor not once, but three separate times. Making money is easy, he says, but keeping your priorities straight can be a challenge.

A survivor of the Cambodian civil war and one-time friend of American presidents and senators, he is a savvy businessman who changed the face of two countries and brought hope to his people.

But he has also been plagued by the twin dragons of pride and gambling addiction. In THE DONUT KING , he shares his story of ups and downs and imparts invaluable lessons on success, ambition, love, and redemption with artistry and refreshing honesty. The Donut King: The Rags to Riches Story of a Poor Immigrant Who Changed the World

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