In Rainier Beach, some things donut change
PHOTOS: The legacy of King Donuts, an eclectic community gathering place, continues in Seattle.
Ed Campos, 68, is what the regulars call the “original King Donut boy.” He has been coming to King Donuts in Seattle’s Rainier Beach neighborhood for the past 30 years.
Campos spends almost every day with the other “King Donut boys” — retirees like him — playing cards and drinking coffee in the back corner of the dining room.
The group has seen King Donuts go through a lot of recent change, including new ownership. After decades running the business, founding owners Chea Pol and Heng Hay retired in 2016 after they were robbed and violently attacked outside their store the previous year.
Kim Sok and her family reopened the Rainier Avenue South shop in January this year. A longtime baker, Sok once ran her family doughnut shop in Marshall, Texas, recruiting her son, Travis Chhuor, into the doughnut-making trade on the night of his high school graduation.
Chhuor is now King Donuts’ sole baker, arriving to work at 3 a.m. to get started on the day’s batch of fresh doughnuts.
Along with fresh doughnuts, the shop offers teriyaki — and a laundromat in the back. Alan Sutherland, 64, comes here every Sunday to wash his clothes. He says it is the only place where he feels comfortable to do so because there is always an attendant.
“There’s always someone here because they’re always making doughnuts.”