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In Rainier Beach, some things donut change

PHOTOS: The legacy of King Donuts, an eclectic community gathering place, continues in Seattle.

Owner Kim Sok fills a box with doughnuts at King Donuts in Rainier Beach on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018. Sok and her family took on the business and reopened in January.

Owner Kim Sok fills a box with doughnuts at King Donuts in Rainier Beach on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018. Following the retirement of the founding owners in 2016, Sok and her family took over the business and reopened it last January. (All photos by Dorothy Edwards/Crosscut)

Owner Kim Sok fills a box with doughnuts at King Donuts in Rainier Beach on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018. Sok and her family took on the business and reopened in January.

Owner Kim Sok fills a box with doughnuts at King Donuts in Rainier Beach on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018. Following the retirement of the founding owners in 2016, Sok and her family took over the business and reopened it last January. (All photos by Dorothy Edwards/Crosscut)

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.”

Ed Campos, 68, of Seattle plays a game of cards with other regulars at King Donuts in Rainier Beach on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018. Campos says he has been coming to King Donuts for the last 30 years.

Ed Campos, 68, of Seattle plays a game of cards with other regulars at King Donuts in Rainier Beach on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018. Campos says he has been coming to King Donuts for the past 30 years. 

A table of regulars play a game of cards at King Donuts in Rainier Beach on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018. The group of mostly retired friends say they come to King Donuts almost every day.

A table of regulars play a game of cards at King Donuts in Rainier Beach on Wednesday, Nov. 14, 2018. The group of mostly retired friends say they come to King Donuts almost every day. 

Travis Chhuor, 30, prepares doughnuts in the morning at King Donuts in Rainier Beach on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018. Chhuor says he has been baking for his family's doughnut shops since his mother told him he'd be baking for her starting the morning after his high school graduation.

Travis Chhuor, 30, prepares doughnuts in the morning at King Donuts in Rainier Beach on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018. Chhuor says he has been baking for his family's doughnut shops since the morning after his high school graduation. 

Travis Chhuor, 30, prepares doughnuts in the morning at King Donuts in Rainier Beach on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018. Chhuor is the sole baker for the shop and often gets to work at 3 a.m.to start on the day's doughnuts.

Travis Chhuor, 30, prepares doughnuts in the morning at King Donuts in Rainier Beach on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018. Chhuor is the sole baker for the shop and often gets to work at 3 a.m. 

Owner Kim Sok fills a box with doughnuts at King Donuts in Rainier Beach on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018.

Owner Kim Sok fills a box with doughnuts at King Donuts in Rainier Beach on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018. 

Travis Chhuor, 30, prepares doughnuts in the morning at King Donuts in Rainier Beach on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018. The doughnuts are made in house in the morning and Chhuor is the sole baker.

Travis Chhuor, 30, prepares doughnuts in the morning at King Donuts in Rainier Beach on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018. The doughnuts are made in house; Chhuor is the sole baker. 

Alan Sutherland, 64, of Seattle does his laundry at King Donuts in Rainier Beach on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018. Sutherland says he comes every Sunday to do his laundry at King Donuts.

A Sunday routine: Alan Sutherland, 64, of Seattle does his laundry at King Donuts in Rainier Beach on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018. 

A woman waits for her laundry to finish at King Donuts in Rainier Beach on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018.

A woman waits for her laundry to finish at King Donuts in Rainier Beach on Sunday, Nov. 18, 2018. 

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In Rainier Beach, some things donut change