Teresa Ngo on her Popular Blinkie’s Donuts in Woodland Hills

Donuts…like you’ve never seen ‘em.

  • Category
    Eat & Drink
  • Written by
    Joshua Lurie
  • Photographed by
    Monica Orozco

For over 50 years, Blinkie’s Donuts was an old-school stronghold in Woodland Hills. Regulars knew exactly what to expect: supple, chewy rings with simple toppings—think chocolate and vanilla glazes—and crusty, cake donuts studded with blueberries.

Then Teresa Ngo and her father, Hugh, bought the business in 2003 and in recent years decided to mix things up. She started glazing with novel flavors like Thai tea topped with toasted coconut, horchata rice milk with dusted cinnamon and avocado drizzled with condensed milk.

“Classic donuts are fun, but I feel like we can experience/try new flavors,” Teresa says. “I’m a foodie, so I get the idea from my favorite dishes, drinks and ice cream.”

Customers have responded wholeheartedly, buying every creation she has come up with. Now Blinkie’s is one of LA’s most cutting-edge donut shops and is becoming a donut darling on Instagram.

Teresa was born in Paris, then her family moved to Anaheim, where relatives were in the donut business. Her uncle, Ted “Doughnut King” Ngoy, ran dozens of donut shops in the ’80s.

Her dad apprenticed at a family outpost before he and Teresa found the opportunity to buy Blinkie’s in 2003. At that point, it was a neighborhood favorite that had fallen into disrepair. Teresa and Hugh knew they had to reinvent. They divvied up responsibilities. He handled cooking and production; she got customer service, sales and innovation.

The duo started developing new recipes, in an effort to rebuild clientele. They began with classics—basic glazed still sells best—and added a black-and-white donut with vanilla and chocolate glazes, “for the person who can’t decide what they want.”

Customers rewarded Blinkie’s with steady growth and strong bonds. “We love our customers,” Teresa says. “They’re like family to us. We grow up with them. We cry with them. We laugh with them. I’ve been to weddings, births, funerals and graduations.”

A following by local celebrities like Khloe Kardashian, Jessica Simpson and Chris Hemsworth has helped the business. So has all the media attention. Blinkie’s is now a destination for people traveling from places like Thailand, Dubai and Japan.

Despite increased demand, Teresa still closes daily at noon. “We believe that a donut should be eaten when it’s fresh,” she says. “We don’t believe in letting our donuts sit until they get stale.” They make donuts just once per morning unless they see an epic rush. And they sell out almost every day.

Teresa and her father have woken up before dawn for 15 years, but she insists it’s worth the trouble, saying, “The kids’ faces when they walk in and look at the showcase. How they light up. That’s the Kodak moment. That’s what I live for. Just making people’s day.”


Blinkie’s Donuts  |  4884 Topanga Canyon Blvd., Woodland Hills
818-884-4456  |  blinkiesdonuts.com

 

 

BLINKIE’S BY THE NUMBERS

100+

Different types of donuts

2,500

Largest donut order (jelly donuts ordered by Congregation Or Ami in Calabasas)

 

1,500

Donuts made on an average Friday

 

1,400

Pounds of flour used per week

 

5,000

Record number of donuts sold (on National Donut Day, June 1, 2018)

 

 

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