PUYALLUP, Wash. — For more than 10 years Jack Yam and his wife Orn Chan have worked 12-hour days, seven days a week.
But you won't hear them complain. Not at Puyallup’s Happy Donuts.
“What makes you so happy?” we asked Yam.
“I don’t know,” he laughed.
Happy Donuts: it's a name that promises more than you might think a sweet treat can deliver. Until you talk to customers.
“The donuts are yummy yum. They're good,” says Kay Lang, a regular customer here.
It doesn’t take long before you realize donuts really do make people happy.
“Happy Donuts is literally the best neighborhood bakery,” says customer Candy Johnson. “They are absolutely phenomenal. They always try to remember their patrons’ name, they always greet you and ask you how have you been, what you have been up to.”
It's been said to know true happiness one must also know sorrow. And there has been that.
“I was little,” says Yam. “I don't remember much.”
Yam was born in Cambodia in Year Zero,1975. The year the brutal Khmer Rouge regime began its rule.
“We saw a lot of people die of starvation,” says Yam.
The regime claimed the lives of two million people. Whole families were executed or died from overwork, disease or starvation.
“I remember that my brother swallowed a nugget, a gold nugget,” says Yam
That gold nugget, which his brother hid from soldiers bought food that kept Jack alive, but his brother and sister perished before the Khmer Rouge was overthrown.
A world away, but somehow in the same lifetime, Yam and his wife say they're living a dream come true. They’re the owners of a place called Happy Donuts.
“When you see the children open the door and look at the donuts, they are so happy!” says Chan.
Happiness rarely ever just presents itself. Sometimes it comes with hard work, or in the unexpected form of laughter.
No, you can't guarantee happiness, but if you'd like to increase the odds in your favor, we've found a pretty good bet. Look for happiness in the shape of a donut.
“Yes I'm very, very happy,” says Yam. “We both are.”
Happy Donuts | 305 2nd St NE, Puyallup, WA 98372 | 253-840-9398