MPW.71 / 2019 Donut Palace Queen by Keshab Raj Thoker
Photographer
Keshab Raj Thoker Dolakha, Nepal
Team Lee

Recipient of the Spirit of the Workshop Award
Story Summary

Kimm Leang Hour, 23, unlocks the doors to Donut Palace at midnight every night. She spends the next 12 hours sifting flour, mixing dough, cutting out pastry shapes and rolling out a minimum of four different types of pastries every single day.

Kimm arrived in America in 2012 at 16, speaking very little English. Her mother, who arrived in the country five years before Kimm, helped pave the way. She worked as a waitress. She studied hard and overcame many cultural and social obstacles.

Today, Kimm is the sole owner of Donut Palace, where she works seven days a week. Her mother works every day at her side, and Kimm’s two-year-old daughter Ellianna, is often playing at their feet. In addition to supporting her mother, which includes translating for doctor’s visits, Kimm travels often to nearby Sedalia to help extended family with financial and translation needs.

“My life lesson for success,” Kimm says, “is to do what you love to do -- it will reach you to the place you want. Never give up and lose hope.” This, she says, is what makes her work at Donut Palace worthwhile.