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It’s a mission.
“Whatever they dream, we can make it for them,” says Tum Ouk.
Ouk’s family has owned the bakery in the Central California city of Clovis for more than 20 years.
But something changed three years ago.
“At first, our donuts didn’t have any designs. They were just regular. I wanted to put something colorful in there,” says manager Sreymon Yi.
So she started to create designs on the donuts, searching online, coming up with ideas of her own.
Some were based around holidays, others were cartoon characters, superheroes, Disney princesses. If you wanted something for Halloween, she’d come up with spidery designs or ghouls or Frankenstein’s monsters. Or a disembodied eye or a haunted house.
If you wanted a donut that looks like a pizza or a Pac-Man-themed donut, if you were obsessed with the ocean or feeling nostalgic for the 90s, she’d figure out just how to turn your heart’s desire into a delectable design.
The most popular design themes, however, remain the classics: unicorns, rainbows, mermaids, Hello Kitty, and Spiderman.
“They come here 2 kids or 3 kids together, (and exclaim): ‘Oh I want this – I want this one! I want this one!'”
When Yi posted her designs on the bakery’s Facebook and Instagram pages, they started to create online buzz. Suddenly, Dream Donuts had thousands of new fans on social media, and a flood of new customers. Some came from hundreds of miles away to see and taste the donuts their friends had shared.
And their delight is what Yi cherishes the most.
“Especially the kids, when they come here, (they say): ‘Oh my god! So cute!’ And then when we hear that sound, it makes us happy,” she says.
This video and story are based on reporting by Vanessa Vasconcelos.