For more than a dozen years sat a little doughnut shop on Rainier Avenue called King Donuts. But then a huge Safeway was built, taking down about 14 businesses in its wake, including the mom-and-pop doughnut shop. In 2001, King Donuts reopened in a much larger space formerly known as the old Hook, Line and Sinker restaurant and lounge. The new building, however, was a good 3,500 square-feet, much too large for a little doughnut counter. So what did the King Donuts family do? "The two businesses that my mom knew of that were also demolished when Safeway was built were a laundromat and a teriyaki shop," says daughter Channa Hay. "So, my family incorporated those two businesses into their doughnut shop."
Don't be a fool! Stop in!
Whose idea was the video?
"It was made by one of our customers, actually," says Hay. "He's trying to start up a PR firm, so he though he'd use us to help build his portfolio. Some people who come in are like, 'Oh, wow! It's a real place!' So, then we know they've seen the video!"
Channa's sister, Davie, says there's a familiar crowd that greets her every morning when she opens the shop at 6 a.m.. "We have a crowd of about 10-15 Filipino men that come in and congregate. Every morning. The same group of guys since 1987."
"Some of them I've known since I was 12," says Channa. "They've held me as a baby," adds Davie.
"Well, my dad used to bake, but now we currently have a baker and he actually bakes kind of the same way my dad did," says Channa who closes the shop six days a week.
"Most of the customers live in the neighborhood. We have some people who come in from Bainbridge, Everett. There's one guy who came in from Lynnwood to do laundry, just because. And then we see some from Issaquah who come in every once in a while to [wash] their comforters and eat doughnuts."
"Remember that time I came in and saw that guy doing his laundry naked?," Davie chimes in. "I opened at 6 a.m. and, you know, I'm in the front with the doughnuts and teriyaki and I walk into the back and this guy's naked, washing his clothes."
"We had another guy that did the same thing," says Channa. "He was walking around in a towel, and I'm like, 'Sir! Where are your clothes?' and he said, 'They're in the washing machine!' We have to police the place to keep everyone safe."
After getting myself excited over the possibility that the sisters might consider serving beer and wine at King Donuts (teriyaki, laundromat...and bar!), I realize it's probably not the smartest idea after all, as Channa reminds me.
"I would have to make a lot of money to outweigh the whackos."