Original Owners Say Goodbye to King Donut Teriyaki Laundromat

Original Owners Say Goodbye to King Donut Teriyaki Laundromat

“Eat the BEST DONUTS & TERIYAKI in town and wash your draws all under one roof. Don’t be a Fool!”

After nearly 30 years in South Seattle, the founders of King Donuts Teriyaki Laundromat will retire next Tues., Dec. 20.

“The shop is our “American Dream” story,” said the owners’ daughter Davie Hay in her Facebook post announcing the impending closure back in June. “All good things come to an end, and I look forward to seeing my parents retire finally.”

There will be a farewell party at King Donuts (9232 Rainier Ave. S.) this Sat., Dec. 17, starting at 3 pm.

“Come say goodbye as they embark into a new chapter of life. They’ll be happy to see those who have supported our business over the last 30 years. Rainier Beach has been so good to us.”

Heng Hay and Chea Pol met in Cambodia. During the war, they were forced to walk 15 hours to the refugee camp in Thailand. This picture was taken right before they came to Seattle in 1980.

Voted Best Thing in South Seattle in 2013 and Business of the Year in 2014, King Donuts has become an iconic South Seattle institution since Heng Hey and Chea Pol started the business in 1987 after fleeing war-torn Cambodia.

But it hasn’t been an easy road.

Nearly two years ago, the two elderly owners were attacked and assaulted one evening as they closed up for the night and headed home. They both ended up in the hospital.

The neighborhood responded with both outrage at the brutality of the crime and overwhelming compassion for Heng and Chea who are well-known in the community.

kingdonut5“This business has been a part of our community for decades,” said one GO: South Seattle (then RVP) reader. “I’ve been going there since I was a little girl with my grandpa. When he died, the owners kept his table reserved for months!”

A GoFundMe account generated more than $23,000 for Heng and Chea. Davie said she was totally shocked by the donations and concern for her parents.

“I guess we never knew that so many people cared so much,” she said. “And I never thought that we would get so much help with the donations. Most of the time things happen to people and there isn’t this much love and support.”

The suspect was eventually arrested.

It wasn’t long after that Heng and Chea decided it was time to retire.

Davie said the decision to sell the shop after almost three decades was a tough one.

“There are many factors that are included in the decision to close but number one is retiring for my parents,” she said. “Thirty years is a long time. My parents are ready to enjoy their life beyond the shop.”

The new owners are expected to re-open soon.

Photos/Hay family


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