It may have been chance that led Leng Hok to take over the former ZoJo Coffee building in Longview’s Triangle Center, but the newly-minted pastry shop owner is already building up a following.
Hok and her husband, Oudom Chorn, officially opened Longview Donuts LLC, located at 931 Ocean Beach Highway, on May 12. The shop serves pastries ranging from bear claws to cinnamon rolls alongside bacon-and-egg croissants and burritos.
Popular items on the menu include maple bars and apple fritters, the couple said, and their bacon-covered bars are a big hit too.
“Anything with bacon, they just come back,” Hok said while laughing. “I have customers come back to buy just the bacon.”
Hok and Chorn met in their home country of Cambodia. They previously lived in Dallas, Texas, where Hok worked at her mother’s doughnut shop before the couple moved to Everett in 2015 to strike out and start their own businesses. But Hok said she couldn’t quite nail down the right location there.
While visiting family in Rainier, Hok passed by a “For Rent” sign at the Ocean Beach Highway location of ZoJo Coffee, which closed earlier this year. The attractive location and drive-through caught her eye, and she secured a 10-year lease on the building.
In September, they moved to Longview to take over the building’s lease and begin work, Hok said. They’ve invested about $180,000 into the businesses with financial help from family.
Chorn wakes up as early as 1 a.m. or midnight to start baking the doughnuts. Hok works at the front counter and makes breakfast-and-lunch standbys like breakfast burritos and smoothies. The couple co-owns the business and currently have only one on-call employee, but they’re looking to hire another baker.
Longview Donuts opened on Mother’s Day, and Hok said she’s happy to see the restaurant is already building up regulars. In the future, she said, they might even expand the building and start frying chicken wings.
The couple have been together for more than a decade and have two daughters, ages 6 and 8. Hok said she loves Longview and wants to keep the business growing, and the couple plan to stick around.
“We spent a lot,” Hok said. “We don’t want a three-year. We want a long-term (investment).”
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