immigrant enterprises

Immigrant Enterprises



attract emigrate immigration
search genocide flee/fled/fled
route unlikely regardless
donut dream (2) fast asleep
get up wake up emporium
get in stuff (2) throw/threw/thrown
contest pack up bodybuilder
violent treat (2) beat/beat/beaten (2)
gentle grow up buy/bought/bought
TLC definitely pros and cons
boss prosperity relationship
escape comment blessed (2)
rouge long way population
cruel gunpoint twist of fate
rob delicate subject (4)
victim safe (2) drive/drove/driven (2)
rate refugees entrepreneur
inspire fortune Roll-Royce
own top-rated stepping stone (2)
bullet blessing bulletproof (2)
go-to touch (2) cheat days
cheat aside (2) it doesn’t matter
craze admit (2) reputation
co- chain (2) American Dream
patron privilege






America has the biggest immigration population in the world. The country has long attracted people in search of a better life.

Among them are Cambodian migrants who fled war and genocide at home. And have found an unlikely route to prosperity . . .


It’s four-fourth am. And most people in the city are still fast asleep. But when Los Angeles wakes up, Teresa Ngo needs to be ready. She’s the co-owner of Blinkie’s Donut Emporium.

Teresa Ngo, co-owner, Blinkie’s Donut Emporium: “As soon as I get in, I throw all my stuff aside, and I start packing up boxes. I feel like it’s a contest every day. I’m just trying to beat myself.

So every is very different. There are days when we sell a few hundred.. There are days when we sell a few hundred boxes. There are days when we sell thousands of donuts.”

Teresa and her dad, Hugh bought Blinky’s in 2003.

Teresa Ngo, co-owner, Blinkie’s Donut Emporium: “Dad is very delicate with his donuts: he treats them like they are his babies. I don’t think that he was that gentle with me growing up.

But he definitely puts a lot of TLC in his donuts.

Working with my dad, there are pros and cons — I mean he’s going to be my boss regardless, even I think I’m the boss, he still thinks he’s the boss.

But we do have a great relationship, and I’m blessed to be able to work with my dad every day.

‘You like working with me’?

No comment.”

Making donuts is a long way from where Hugh started out his life.

Teresa Ngo, co-owner, Blinkie’s Donut Emporium: “So my parents escaped Cambodia during the Khmer Rouge in 1979, early 1980s. It was a genocide; a total genocide, where we lost a lot of family members.
They were lucky enough to be able to emigrate to France. And they were there for twenty years.”

But in a cruel twist of fate, Teresa’s family were subjected to a violent attack.

Teresa Ngo, co-owner, Blinkie’s Donut Emporium: “We had to leave, unfortunately because my parents were again victims of an attack, where we were robbed at gunpoint, and my parents were beaten.

They didn’t feel safe living in France anymore.

So they moved to LA.”

Arriving in the USA was another huge change for the Ngo family.

Teresa Ngo, co-owner, Blinkie’s Donut Emporium: “LA was the third new start for my parents: that was the third country in their life. And for me, it was my second one. I

t was totally different: we didn’t speak the language. We didn’t know how to drive here. So everything was new.

Between 1975 and 1994, nearly 160,000 Cambodians were admitted to America as refugees.

One of them was Ted Ngoy, who became known as the “Doughnut King”. The entrepreneur made his fortune through a chain of stores.

By the mid 90s, inspired by Mr. Ngoy’s success, there were as many as two-thousand-and-four-hundred (2,400) Cambodian-owned donut shops in southern California.

Teresa Ngo, co-owner, Blinkie’s Donut Emporium: “LA was everything. California was everything. So it was just like a dream come true just to be able to be here.

So I never thought I would be owning a donut shop, and I thought it was just going to be a stepping stone for me.

But because of the connection we’ve made with our customers and the community, now it just makes it home.”

Customer One: “I love that it’s a total neighborhood-community donut shop: I know the owners; the owners know my kids.”

Los Angeles has a reputation for healthy eating — but that hasn’t slowed the steady stream of patrons at Blinky’s.

Teresa Ngo, co-owner, Blinkie’s Donut Emporium: “Donuts are bulletproof. They are what makes you happy . . . they’re the little go-to snack that you can have on cheat days.

We have a lot of bodybuilders that come in. We have a lot of moms who are super healthy, but they still bring their kids for that little touch of sugar.

It doesn’t matter how healthy the craze is, you’re still going to want a donut at the end of the day.”

Blinky’s is now one of the top-rated donut shops in Los Angeles.

Teresa Ngo, co-owner, Blinkie’s Donut Emporium: “For me Blinky’s is everything about the American Dream. It’s not a big dream — I’m not driving a Rolls-Royces or anything like that.

But I’m living the dream. I’m here. I’m safe. I’m selling an American product. I’m making an American product, for Americans.

So yeah, it’s a blessing. It’s a privilege for me.”


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1. Immigrants to the US are only from Britain, Ireland, Germany, Mexico, China and India. Is this correct or incorrect?

2. Is the most common enterprise among Cambodian immigrants small stores and restaurants?

3. Teresa Ngo, the donut shop co-owner, arrives at work at nine o’clock in the morning. Is this right or wrong?

4. Did her father found the company by himself? Is he in charge, and Teresa just an assistant?

5. Teresa’s family emigrated from Cambodia for better economic opportunities. Is this entirely true, mostly true, yes and no, both, in the middle, largely false or totally false?

6. “But in a cruel twist of fate, Teresa’s family . . . ” What does this mean?

7. For Teresa and her family, was it a smooth, easy transition to living in LA?

8. Only children and working-class, uneducated people patronize her donut store. Yes or no?


A. Are there donuts in your city or country? Are pastries popular?

B. Are there immigrants in your community? What do they do?

C. I would like to start and have my own small business. Yes or no? Do (some) people want to start, own and run their own business?

D. Do you have friends or know small business owners or entrepreneurs? What do they say? How do they describe their lives?

E. What will happen in the future?

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