With an average rating of 98 out of 100 on UrbanSpoon – a widely used online resource that accumulates reviews of restaurants – hometown favorite, Murray Donuts, has become a staple in the small town of Murray, finding itself firmly planted at 506 North 12th St.
Owner, Bunnarath Mao, was born in Cambodia. Living in the capital city of Phnom Penh, Mao came to the U.S. approximately eight years ago, though not without difficulty.
Originally earning a bachelor’s degree in business administration from his home country, Mao’s degree wasn’t able to transcend geopolitical borders.
This wouldn’t slow Mao down, though.
“(The U.S.) is the land of opportunity,” Mao said. “You can be anything you want to be.”
Initially, Mao moved to Chicago and worked for an export company, though when the Great Recession hit, he left that work to follow a dream.
“It was a lifelong dream to own my own business,” Mao said.
So, having friends in the industry and believing “universities are always good” for business, Mao set up shop and in December of 2009 and opened Murray Donuts.
Mao spoke about the help he receives from friends and family.
“We help each other because in a business you can’t do it all alone,” Mao said. “My philosophy is everywhere you go, make friends.”
Of course, not only did the owner of Murray Donuts talk about those who helped him behind the scenes, but Mao also spoke with incredible joy about his customers, many whom he knows by name.
“They’re like parents away from home,” Mao said.
Mao explained the donut making process. The making of donuts includes a number of steps, each as important as the last.
First he mixes the batter – 50 pounds at a time – then cuts, proofs, fries and glazes all to make what many students, faculty and staff would call the “best donut in Murray.”
Donuts aren’t all that is offered at Murray Donuts though. A customer can enjoy a number of other entrees such as a breakfast sandwich to a danish.
Open every day until 5 p.m. – except Sundays, when the store closes at 2 p.m. – Murray Donuts is more than just a donut shop. Under the managerial leadership of Mao, a man with a story not only spans continents, but continues this day in Murray’s backyard.
Story by Connor Jaschen, Staff writer