Arts & Life, Multimedia, Photo Gallery, Showcase SPECIAL ISSUE: The Doughnut Shop That Never Closes by James Chow on March 25, 2019 James Chow Author ag.simones Simone’s Donuts is a doughnut shop that never closes. It’s open 24 hours, 365 days a year. The shop is located in Long Beach on the corner of Palo Verde Avenue and Stearns Street. ag.simones2 Pauly Som, 49, is one of the eight employees that runs Simone’s Donuts. Every employee is from either Cambodia or Thailand and came to the United States to work. ag.simones3 Simone’s Donuts began around the 1980s and has seen three owners in its history. The third and most recent owners are the Eap family from Thailand and Cambodia. They took over operations in 2003. This wall has photos of the store and its customers from the first year Simone’s Donuts was in operation. Some customers come to specially see the wall with pictures of their family and friends. ag.simones4 Baker Alan Ek, 33, has been working at Simone’s Donuts for a year and a half now. He works the night shift from 9 p.m. to 5 a.m. Alan frosts traditional cake doughnuts with chocolate, top, then caramel, continuing down, vanilla, strawberry and orange cream frosting. ag.simones5 Alan Ek is usually in charge of frosting all of the doughnuts, while the other baker, Tony Gea, makes and fries the dough. ag.simones6 Simone’s Donuts is known for its infamous cronuts. What’s a cronut? It’s a hybrid: half croissant, half donut. It’s not only a customer favorite, but it’s also a staff favorite for baker Radee Long. ag.simones7 A little girl points at the artistic holiday doughnut specials that Melissa Eap, the store manager, designed. Melissa dreamed of becoming an animator, and studied animation at California State University, Long Beach. For her, managing and taking over the family business was never the plan. But somehow her parents convinced her to carry the family business. ag.simones8 Julian Reyes is three and a half years old, to be specific. “I always get the white doughnut,” he said, every time he gets a haircut from the barber shop next door. ag.simones9 Alan Ek hustles to restock the front of the store with traditional cake doughnuts, while Tony Gea needs dough, back. They make doughnuts two to three times a day, depending on the demand. Simone’s Donuts often receives large orders from local restaurants in the area. For example, Saint & Second on Second Street in Belmont Shore orders six dozen apple fritters to make a dessert on their menu called “Donuts & Coffee.” ag.simones10 The Eaps and all of their employees have strong relationships with their regulars. After all, making their customers happy is a priority, 365 days a year.