A reader wanted to know the location of Dianne Pao and Nimol Sam’s doughnut shop.
The couple expanded their shop into a small Cambodian restaurant last year to avoid becoming the next in a line of doughnut shops across the county to close in recent years, a trend I documented in my story yesterday. While visiting shops during the course of my reporting, I found at least one other doughnut shop, in City Heights, had added a full menu to its offerings to stay afloat.
After finishing my story, I drove over to Pao and Sam’s shop on Midway Drive for lunch yesterday. It’s called D-P Donuts and Cambodian, Thai and Lao Cuisine. Sam told me theirs was the only Cambodian restaurant in the city. I searched and couldn’t find another.
While I ate, he told me he could do away with the doughnuts without much impact on the business. It’s the full menu of food — not the doughnuts — that brings in his small profit these days. He and his wife, who met when he was working at a local Yum Yum Donuts, could avoid rising at 3 o’clock each morning and driving from their Chollas View home to have the donuts in their case by 5:30. They could reduce their 16-hour day by about half and spend more of it with their 6- and 10-year-old sons. But it’s become a way of life for the couple whose families fled violence in Cambodia during the early 1980s.