DKsDonut with Mayly Tao on How to make a Business Your Own and Taking Charge of Your Future

episode description:


Mayly Tao of the world-famous DKsDonut shop in Santa Monica shares her story on how she made her family business her own. With a 30% reduction in business during the Covid-19 pandemic, she talks about how she took charge to turn things around. DKsDonuts opened 24 hours every day since 1983 is best known for its Dkronut and O-nut creations, where people travel from all over the world to indulge in her colorful donuts.





Show notes:

Eric: [00:00:00] hey everybody. This is Eric Y Chen with the Y factor podcast today. I have very special guests, Mayly Tao here coming onto the show. I love for you to introduce yourself. 

Mayly: [00:00:10] Hey, what’s up guys? We’re out here. This is Mayly Tao. I am your donut princess.

I own DK’s donuts and bakery in Santa Monica, California, and I’m super excited to be on this podcast. 

Eric: [00:00:23] Yeah. For those of you out there,  Mayly and I actually met on the Asian hustle network, Facebook group that I help manage and run. And we actually got connected because we were talking about podcasts,  and she used starting out her, her own podcast.

And that’s how we just got to chatting. And I had the honor and privilege to actually be a guest on her show, , just recently. So I love to share that with you guys. once that is released to arm, sure. She’s going to release it before this episode. So I’ll share that information with you guys, but I’d love for you to share what your podcast is about too, and then we’ll dive into the main stuff with the business and everything.

Mayly: [00:01:02] Yeah. So Eric was so helpful when I was posting my, my podcast, which is called short and sweet, a donut principles podcast.  Pretty much it is a podcast that shares anecdotes of me running my business and giving small business tips and marketing tips to whoever wants to listen. It also is centered around being a decent human being, and I know that Eric is.

Decent human being because when we connected in the Asian hustler network,  he was so willing to help me with figuring out zoom and the technical parts.  he’s had his podcasts for a while, so I really, really appreciated that he went above and beyond and did that for me. So it was like, I have to have you as a guest on mine.

And so now I get to be a guest on his, 

Eric: [00:01:50] yeah. Yeah, that’s what the collaboration is all about. And it was an extremely fun podcast, I think it was what your first or second virtual guest ever. 

Mayly: [00:01:59] Yeah. So, my, my first virtual remote guests, and I think that it went really well. Eric is so fun and really easy to talk to, so we actually cover collaborations  in Short and Sweet Podcasts too. So I love collaborating with people, and I think that’s how great things get created. 

Eric: [00:02:20] Yeah. I don’t know if the guests will find my existing podcast as fun, but I think part of the inspiration and talking to you is actually to make it more fun and more personalized.  in addition to the journey.

Right. And I think that’s something that people can look forward to moving forward is Austin. Incorporate a little bit more about my journey,  into the business and everything. And you know, I started off the podcast with wanting to interview business owners and people who run side hustles just to understand their story and really dive into why.

Because at the end of the day, the opportunity. Is available for everybody, but how does one actually stick through it? Right. Was it the circumstances that people were given wasn’t an opportunity they had to go seek for themselves. Everyone’s story is different. And  for those of you out there, I think technically, Mayly,  you’re like the one of the first few people that I’ve, I’ve told, or at least like a new person.

You know the story of a deeper dive into me leaving the company I helped found. We’ll just startpad and leave my partner not too long ago. Right. And so this whole, this whole. Journey is, is basically starting a whole new business. And so,  being able to incorporate tidbits there in terms of my journey as I talk with guests and even understand,  tips and tricks from business owners like yourself and things that I can incorporate.

 so I love to get started and, uh, you know, have you talk about really the beginning journey of what your business , DK’s Donut is all about. 

Mayly: [00:03:57] Yeah, so pretty much it was all kind of a humble beginning with my parents. They’re immigrants. They were actually in the Khmer Rouge.  it’s basically this huge genocide of millions of people.

They were born in a time of war, so they didn’t even get a chance. To get the education that I did. You know, they came here to America without a penny, and it’s just like any other immigrant story. So my mom, you know, she had her beginnings. She would, so she said that she would get 1 cent per. Cloth that she sewed.

And my dad,  he actually came and my great uncle Ted, he’s known as the donut King, hence why I’m the donut princess. He actually opened up hundreds of donut shops for Cambodian refugees. So when my dad came to America, there were maple bars in the backseat, and that’s pretty much where he learned the trade and learned about donuts.

Eric: [00:04:55] like when you say a hundred like donut shops, does that here in the States or. Yeah. 

Mayly: [00:05:02] So when I say donut shops, I mean a hundred doughnut shops in California. Yeah. Yeah. So you know, when you’re driving around LA, you’re going to see tons of mom and pop donut shops, whether that be an LA or orange County, most likely they know my uncle or he opened up that store himself.

So I’m pretty much, you know , my parents started DKS in 1981 and basically I spent so much of my life in that store.  my dad would say that when I was, you know, one or two, he would,  pick me up and bring me to the shop and put me over there on top of the flower. And then he’d bake. And then he picked me up and we’d go home.


Eric: [00:05:47] [talked over each other] are like, just as a baby, just rolling around, just kind of kneading, kneading the dough. 

Mayly: [00:05:52] Not quite, I think it was in the sea. And there are like, you know, health regulations. But,  but yeah, I mean, it just goes to show that my parents were always working and they were always grinding. They were always hustling, and they really built something together and they were able to, you know, with DKS.

 helped me and my brother to go, go to school. We went to private Catholic high school.  all they ever wanted for us was to go to really good schools and get a really good education.  and so I went CCSD, I studied communications, and what I actually wanted to do was I wanted to be a news reporter.

So I studied 

Eric: [00:06:30] communication like my sister actually. Yeah. And then she became a reporter. 

Mayly: [00:06:37] Yeah. So,  so the other, so I, I actually didn’t end up being a reporter. I interned for news stations and I realized that I didn’t really want to dedicate my life to something that was only all about ratings. And so I came back to LA and at around this time also, my parents were getting a divorce.

And one of the things that was in the clause was. They only agreed to give DKS to my brother and I, and so we just, you know, I was like, Hey, you know what? Like, we’ll step in, you know, I’ll just, I’ll rebrand it. I’ve got all this knowledge that I’ve gotten from . I knew this place was special and I was going to put my own flavor on it after that.

So,  I believe that was 2012, 2013 when I stepped in  fully, and I decided to start small. You know, I started off with the logo, like we already had, you know, the classic donuts, you know, the glaze donut, the chocolate. I think the fanciest doughnut we had was like an Apple fritter or a cinnamon roll.

And,  it was, I started to really document, you know, all the items that we had. You know, I remember trying to build a website by myself. That was so hard to get on WordPress with. No. 

Eric: [00:07:58] Yeah. Did you have experience, like, I’m assuming you had some experience like working at the donut shop, even just growing up, I’m like through high school.

Was it like after school?  During summertimes too or. 

Mayly: [00:08:10] Yeah. I mean, honestly, when I was really young, it was that we’d go to school and then we’d, you know, the daycare after school was at the shops and my mom also owned a Chinese food restaurant. They’re also very immigrant hustle. And,  yeah, I would spend my weekends going to help out.

I remember being like, Oh, why do I have to wake up at five when my friends are all. Watching cartoons, and I really understand now the reason why they had me help.  it was to really understand business at a young age. Obviously they did need the help and I don’t know, I think that they knew that I was something special and I could bring something to the table.

So even though I was at East CSD, I was driving back to help them on the weekends.  just because I think it didn’t help and I knew that I had to do that for my family. 

Eric: [00:09:02] Did you ever have a feeling or thought about a little bit of a resentment of a feeling like you’re missing out on opportunities, like you mentioned, like, you know, friends get to stay in to watch cartoons or spend the weekend to go and party and you’re out there,  working hard and, and  work in the business that,  you don’t feel like maybe it’s not yours and it’s your parents.

Like, why do you have to sacrifice your time when you should be having a good college experience? 

Mayly: [00:09:28] yeah, I mean, I definitely had a good college experience, and I also feel that . There had always been that resentment. I think if you grew up in an immigrant, families like infrastructure, you know, your people are always working.

And so,  I remember being a lot younger and being like, I’m never gonna like I don’t, I’m, I’m never going to come back, you know?  and then 2012, 2013, I was back and I just saw like. If not me, then who I like. I knew that. I knew that I was going to contribute, but I didn’t, I wasn’t aware of the impact that I was about to have on 

the business.

Eric: [00:10:10] Yeah. So let’s talk about that impact, right? You were talking about trying to build out a website, doing the rebranding and everything, like what was the, the old look and feel? Was it just like any other normal donut shop that,  some old people just frequent in the morning and then it’s kinda just slow and it’s just a bunch of takeout, or how did, how was, how was 


Mayly: [00:10:29] I would say that. We were always a Santa Monica staple.  like, like you said, you get the older people coming in, you have the people from the hospital, you have the working people in Santa Monica, and they knew where they could get a hot donut. Since we’ve always been open 24 hours, we’ve been open 24 hours since 1981.

And so we, we definitely had a good amount of donuts, but they were kind of that traditional type. We had some pastries and a few like breakfast items, but I decided to go a few steps further. And,  what I noticed at the time where these food trends. And for all of a sudden food became cool again. And what I mean by that is, you know, it’s all about how this crazy hybrid becomes this thing.

So what I invented was I invented Ellie’s first half croissant, half donut. It had art existed in New York, and in fact, the person who invented it actually sent me a cease and desist letter, even though I called it the DK R. O N E T. Which is the, 

Eric: [00:11:41] it’s actually been widely debated,  amongst, who started this whole cronut phase and then like where it came from.

And then, but yeah, so you, you kind of recognize, but you’ve also been. Gotten in trouble 

Mayly: [00:11:57] for, yeah, so I mean, this is kind of how it all went down. I, I have some friends in New York and they were like, Hey, there’s this crazy thing happening in New York right now. There’s this pastry and it’s called the cronut.

And I was like, okay, like, and I started kind of doing some research and I was like. Hm. Half croissant, half donut. And then I went into the kitchen with my family, with my,  my brother and I, and my mom and my brother. And I kind of like give it a go and it just didn’t come out like perfect. And so like, we’re, we’re sadly like throwing away the product in the trash can.

We’re just like, Oh, like this. Too hard, like you can’t figure it out. And they were like, Hey mom, like, what do you think about this? And she looks at it and she obviously likes, you know, if you have an Asian mom out there and you know that they’re great cooks and they have so much more experience than we did.

So she kind of came up with it. You know, the baseline of what the recipe was. There’s always in the family. We launched it and  I remember she gave us a deadline. She’s like, if we don’t sell more than 20 of these in two weeks, we’re going to stop making them. And I was like, okay. 

So. Yes, 

yes. So,  pretty much I used my education that I learned in East CSD and I got it in front of a lot of people, one of them, including Thrillist.

And once Thrillist wrote something about us, we skyrocketed and we have never come back down. So what that looks like is, I remember showing up for work and. Person goes, Hey, do you guys have that croissant donut? And I’m like, yeah, yeah. Like, how many do you need? Oh, I need like two dozen. Okay. All right, cool.

I’ll come back and like,  an hour hangs up. The phone was nonstop ringing all day long. We had orders that filled the whole wall. And I remember calling my brother and be like,  I think I did something. And,  what, so what I realized was Thrillist had wrote the article, people were searching for this, this godly concoction.

And from there, you know, people were waiting hours just to get their hands on one. We had over 25 different flavors of the half croissant, half donut ranging and like tighty Macia, a nut tele house cream,  when we were putting ice cream in them.  and what the half croissant, half donut really is, is.

It’s half croissant, half donut dough. It takes a few days to make, and it’s super Larry, like a croissant, but it’s also doing like a donut. So even if in the simplest terms, you can add a little bit cinnamon sugar, and it’s just, I don’t know. I have a love of croissants too, so. It’s so good. And so that whole craze actually led to a few other crazes.

I created the half waffle, half donut, pretty much half waffle, half donut batter, threw it in the cast iron deep Friday like a donut and garnished it like a donut. And you know, it reminds me of fair food. So when you, when you taste it, it’s like that smell of waffles. And it’s also just a little Christie.

And we had some unique flavors.   the food network actually featured us twice for that, and people are coming in all the time for that. And then I expanded our menu so that now, instead of the future additional donuts that we had, we had over 120 different kinds of. Traditional and specialty types and yeah, I mean pretty much like that’s just a few things that I did to really just expand their reach so that if somebody could come in, there would be something for anybody.

Eric: [00:15:43] What was the reaction with kind of the old timer, or not old timers, but the old time customers who are used to something a little bit more small and they probably had a routine. You know, coming into the shop every day, but then all of a sudden there’s like a line out the door and it’s like, I’m just trying to get my, you know, normal glazed donuts instead of what these young kids are trying to eat nowadays.

Right. It was there,  kind of a, a turnaround there, or are you guys trying to serve as traditional clients. 

Mayly: [00:16:09] So our, we have had customers coming in even before I was born, and my, I have customers who go, I remember when you were in your mom’s womb and like, you know, you were vert around here with your brother and like, you know, kicking Reed and all that stuff.

So these customers, when, when the, when the ONUT, so we call it the ONUT. That’s our, that’s our version of the hashtag ONUT. so when the ONUT craze was in, they go, this is all your fault, isn’t it? And I was like, yeah, it’s me. I’m so sorry. I was like, you can just. You know, cut the line. It’s cool.

Like I got you. And  it’s just that whole, like, they were like, wow, we’re so proud of you. But they’re like, dang, we have to wait in line now for like, like the secret’s out DKS DKS donuts is out, you know, meaning like, people have finally found out about what a gem this place is. 

Eric: [00:17:04] So, with all, with all the hype now, I mean, obviously,  you’ve grown, you’ve gotten, DK’s Donut through the media and everything, and like you said, it’s skyrocketed.

It hasn’t really slowed down since. Mmm. I mean, obviously we’re, we’re into, we’re recording this at a time.  April 3rd is when those recordings happened. So, right, we’re in the middle of COVID 19 , happening, right? So there’s a slow down for most of them, as I say.  but even like, I mean, I forgive me cause I’m not willing to wait in line for a lot of hype items.

I just hate waiting in lines and being in crowded places.  or is there still a line,  obviously prior to shelter in place of people wanting to get the donuts and stuff too. 

Mayly: [00:17:45] Absolutely. We have lines out the door in the middle of the night. We have lines on the door in the mornings and people are just jamming in there.

We’re also online on a lot of delivery partners too, and after eight o’clock, those tablets go off.  Yeah. So it’s, it’s, but to really like put it in perspective of how it has impacted us as a business.  we started to notice that, you know, people were kind of getting more concerned about COVID 19.

I mean, I noticed like my friends in Japan, like there was more complete lockdown than over here, and it really hadn’t reached it yet.  and I did have some, current accounts that I created who would call me and they’d be like, Hey, like for example, st John’s is one of them. And they’d call me and say, Hey, like is there any way you could individually bag our order and then put them in a box?

I was like, yeah, no problem. But like when you know, people are just getting a little nervous and I was like, okay, no worries. The next day they go, Oh, sorry. They shut our cafeteria down. We’re going to have to discontinue. And these have been clients of ours for over 30 years. And then we get the next call from Symantec.

That’s another really big account that we have. They’re like, yeah, they’ll like, Hey, you know, we’re out. Like, I’m so sorry. We’re gonna have to cancel. Okay. And then we’ve got Activision, and then we got Hulu, and then we got even the law offices. Then we have the cafes that we cater, and then the Intercontinental hotel, which we do their buffets every day.

All of these ones that called and said, I’m so sorry, we’re going to have to cancel. And at that moment I was shocked, but he almost found it humorous, like , like who’s going to call me next? And literally they all called me and let me know that, you know, they would be pausing or canceling their services and because they need to adapt with their business as well.

And so what I did immediately was I took action. You know, like this is something that I do to support my parents, support myself, and I understand that at this time, like a lot of businesses won’t make it. Luckily I have just, I don’t know, I just turn a light bulb on and I just decide that I want to just run.

Right. So, yeah, there’s a few things that I did this whole, during this whole time, 

Eric: [00:20:09] what would you say. Makes that little difference if you kind of accept defeat and you know, first you know someone, I can imagine like, you know when things can get tough. It’s like you kind of just like to get things together, but you kind of like don’t see the end of the tunnel and then you kind of give up versus you, you, you mentioned that you, you want to, you take, you took action right away.

Once you recognize the problem and really looking for a solution, like what was that thought process behind 

Mayly: [00:20:39] that. Yeah. I mean it’s a lot about kind of like what you said, those the defeat, right? It was like the laughter of, of just like, like what else can go wrong? And I really like, I mean, I was quarantining myself here at home and just thinking like, okay, we’re going to have to get really creative here.

What are we going to do? How are people going to find us? How am I going to make up this 30% loss in our business? Okay, let me think. Let me think. And I thought, okay, if people are at home, like I really like, I really, really focus on what the user, the user experience, what the, what is the user experiencing right now.

Okay. They’re probably really bummed because they,  either got let go or they’re working from home. Mmm Hmm. Okay. Do people know that they need to support small businesses at this time? Okay. I know that I’m the voice and the face and the operator of my whole business. I was like, okay, I’m going to get in front of the camera and I’m just going to do what I do.

So the first. The thing was I put, I was very vulnerable, right? I was vulnerable and letting people know about what was going on with our business, and I know that growing up it was never that way. You were never supposed to like revealing that you weren’t doing well. That’s just something in Asian culture where it’s like when you go over to your family’s house, it’s like, how’s everything?

Oh, it’s great. You know, it’s great. It’s like, it’s like something about this. Pride of like everything’s put together, the 

Eric: [00:22:10] topic of conversation between the parents, or it was like, Oh, you know, my kid got into this school, or they got straight A’s, or this GPA, or they’re going to become a doctor now.

Or like that kind of conversation. And that’s what we, we had to grow up with. Right. So like, 

Mayly: [00:22:24] totally like I, and it’s funny cause it’d be like my parents would show me off like that too. They’d be like, Oh, like our daughter went to UC San Diego, like, and she’s doing this, this.  and so I totally get that.

Like that’s just how we grew up to be, to, to put on like a really brave, strong face for everybody. Yells. Okay. And how I did it was I translated it to, I need to let my community know what’s going on because we’re staying open 24 hours for them, and how else can I help serve my community? Or how else can, can we make this work?

so immediately, you know, I went on my social media channels. I just. Send out a really heartfelt video and kind of not just to create awareness like I, I feel that  people are interested, or if they can relate, your message will be heard. And so I was just really honest.  and broadcast isn’t that. I was actually approached by Uber eats.

They are a delivery partner and they’re like, Hey, by the way, like you know, we’re going to give you this special option where you can create a virtual store. And I go, okay, got it. Hmm. Let me think. User, user, user. Okay, so people are home and they’re hungry. How can we make this work? So in three days, I curated a menu.

I photographed it myself and got the whole thing live. And as a result, it’s another form of income that we can collect as well for just like these curated menu items. It’s called DK secret sandwich shop and you can order it when you’re on Uber eats within like three to five miles here in LA. And so that was the first thing, or the second thing, the third thing I did was I turned the donut shop into a grocery store.

So here you can buy bread or butter or milk.  I did this primarily because I started seeing a lot of these grocery stores have long lines, and all I could think about was. Dang. Like, what if you’re elderly? What if you can’t get to the grocery store or what if you can’t get there at that certain time and you’re at risk being around everybody anyways.

Okay. You can do a quick stop at DKS. We’re open 24 hours. I even at one point offered to deliver groceries to whoever needed them that we had. And you know, even doing that, I was like, gosh, there’s gotta be something else I can do. And you know, at this point of the whole quarantine, this is the part where, you know, essential businesses can stay open and non essential ones should be closed.

And so then I thought, wow. And especially like my compassion really went out to those healthcare workers, those that are in the front lines that are fighting for all these things. For all of us with the COVID patients coming in with the emergency room and whatnot. And so I’m a local church, had actually kind of sponsored a breakfast for Kaiser West LA, and that’s where I got the idea.

I was like, what if we. Got more people involved. I feel that people really want to help, but they are not sure how to help 

Eric: [00:25:44] so we can do at this time or 

Mayly: [00:25:46] exactly. People are at home and sure, like, I don’t know about you, but hearing all this stuff in the media, it gives me so much fear and anxiety and uncertainty, but at this moment of crisis, like we really have to focus on what we can control.

And so I, when my friend Monica and I, we’ve known each other for many years and we’ve always talked about like, we should do something together. We should do something together. And we came up with this idea called lunchboxes for love. You can actually find it on Instagram. And,  what it is, is it’s kind of like a donation platform.

People donate on Venmo, you can donate $10 you can donate $500 which we have received a large donation just like that. And you what that, what that is is we take that money and I make these gourmet sandwiches and gourmet donuts and coffee and I deliver it to local LA hospital staff. So this past week I did 110 meals at two different hospitals.

and then in the coming weeks, I have some going to the Lac USC medical center. We just did Cedars yesterday. And to be honest, my experiences. Okay. Obviously it’s, it’s kind of a risk, right? Like I’m putting myself at risk to pretty much save my business. Does this, and boosts the morale that’s happening at these emergency centers and medical centers.

Well, all of this is happening 

Eric: [00:27:17] and you’re on social media show showing that you’re delivering. These boxes to the hospitals as well. Right. And so you’re, you’re risking your health, by even going to the hospitals and, and risking you’re getting infected as well. Right. Cause there, there shouldn’t be visitors going there, or people are restricted from even visiting their families who might be.

As a patient. Right. 

Mayly: [00:27:41] And so 

Eric: [00:27:42] I recognize that I’ve seen the stories and, and just commend you for,  helping bring people together. And,  coming up with something like this to obviously like, yeah, think, think the people who are on the front lines, like my brother in law is a doctor too. And so he’s now being stationed at the hospital to help support.

And so it’s just amazing to see what people can do. And in times of crisis. And I think it stems back to your whole innate drive to take action and help people take action as well, versus just,  sitting at home,  not knowing what they can do. But of course, it is better for everyone to stay at home as well to help curve down the spread.

Mayly: [00:28:23] Yeah. And like when I’m doing these deliveries, I have a mask on. I have gloves. I like making sure not to touch my face or whatever it may be.  I actually don’t just show up at hospitals because actually a lot of hospitals don’t even allow people to visit them anymore. It’s only doctors and patients.

And so I, I basically coordinate with these hospital people where to go safely work, and I meet you and I make sure all of that goes smoothly because yeah, I am at risk and I have to save my business. My parents are on the line, my, you know, my workers that are on the line. So it’s a really interesting way to kind of think of the ethics of everything too.


Eric: [00:29:04] especially, I mean, nowadays, there are definitely, especially online, there’s a lot of people who are trying to figure out how this can be a money grab in selling, you know, fraudulent masks and,  or the face masks and everything. And, and so those are things we need to look out for. Right. And there is more.

Like a moral,  I guess issue, issue with that. And, you know, we try to identify that and discourage people from even doing that and just at least let the professionals, you can do it. And if, and then, you know, people want to help out, then they can help out in plenty of other ways. 

Mayly: [00:29:36] Yeah. 

Eric: [00:29:37] So, yeah. No, absolutely.

Thank you so much for what you’re doing so far for your community and you know, all the frontline workers.  yeah, my, my brother in law, let me see, I think, yeah, he’s down in orange County. So you won’t get to eat some amazing lunchbox. 

Mayly: [00:29:54] Give me an email, like I like the more donations that we’re getting.

Like I’m willing and able, like I’ll drive. I mean, today I went to several different places.  good thing is there’s no LA traffic, so I’ll get you get there and 

Eric: [00:30:10] yeah. Yeah. Traffic has been. I’m crazy, so I can’t imagine what LA is like. I mean, just not having cars, everything. Everything takes about 45 minutes just to get to wherever you’re trying 

to go.

Mayly: [00:30:22] Let’s just say. I have never experienced anything like this in almost my entire life of driving here in LA, like born and raised in LA and like. You know, you usually have to give yourself 30 minutes to an hour. Like there’s this funny joke of people in LA being 15 minutes late to everything will. It’s just because there’s so much traffic.

I’m here now. You can get places within 20 minutes. Like, I can go downtown in like 20 minutes, work on like a Friday rush hour, probably take like an hour and a half, which is great. Like, I’m glad people stay at home, you know, if there’s certain essential workers that need,   like work. But I think it’s great, especially for me right now, just to be able to zoom here and there and get places quickly.

So I can just. Do that and then go home. Yeah. Yeah. 

Eric: [00:31:13] so let’s, let’s go back to the business, right? I mean, I wanted to talk just a little bit about it before we wrap up here. something that you and I, we, we talked about on, on the podcast as well.  I think. At least within this topic, everybody is now taking the time to figure out what it is that they want to do.

 having some extra time to take on some courses or, you know, whether they’re unfortunately laid off that they’re living in careers or looking for something different.  Something that you and I talked about where it was, you know, finding business partners and, you know, working with someone and like you said, with the, with the box lunch, you, you’re working with a friend.

 but we’d love to get your insight on,  what your experiences in working with a business partner or wanting to do something with a friend or partner, you know, whether it’s in this time or even for a business that is, you know, they want to build up together. 

Mayly: [00:32:07] Yeah. I mean, that’s a great question.

I think that it always sounds really great to have a partner that’s your best friend because there’s the whole trust factor, but my whole main thing is to find a partner who is willing to put in. More or the same amount of work that you’re putting in. And I think I’ll use Monica as an example. The reason why Monica and I work so well is because we are just straight grinders.

Like she’s, she’s been pushing out like tons of deliverables.  what’s been really cool too, she’ll individually like Photoshop our little bear logo with . Certain photos to really like work on that type of marketing and really spreading that awareness that while I’m kind of like physically doing the work and we always, you know, again, another thing that I would say to look out for is,  have a partner who you can openly communicate with like any time of the day.

So I’ll shoot her a quick text, we’ll, we’ll hop on calls. We have co like quick little calls just to update each other and, you know, keep each other accountable. And I think that’s really important when you’re finding a partner.  I’ve had partners where they don’t put in as much work. And so that’s where it becomes a little like, is it fair or not?

You know, is it, is it, is it contributing to the business? And you can see the results when you’re working, basically if you’re trying to work together as a team versus if you’re working by yourself. Almost like posing as a team, it’s different cause there’s so many responsibilities at 


Eric: [00:33:41] Yeah. And I just thought about this when you were talking, your parents left, you and your brother, the donut shop.

And I guess the question is, because this is on top of mine, at the top of my head, my sister’s always asking me to come and help her with her business, and she’s like, come on as a partner and you know, we can go into this and help her build it up.  and I’m just like, well, I don’t know. I like it, I help her here and there.

So, I understand her work ethic and I, personally, don’t think we can mesh as well. Like, I’ll, I’m just willing to help out, but I don’t want to invest it into something that, you know, might. Trigger some type of, you know, relationship strain with, with, with her. So what was that experience like with you and your brothers?

Like starting off and even to 


Mayly: [00:34:27] Yeah, I mean, so back in the day, I mean, my, my brother, if you have an older brother or an older sibling, you know, like you’re getting punked and you’re getting, like, you’re getting the short end of the stick and you’re,  it’s, it’s never, it was always kind of like a tough love thing with my brother.

And even as I started making all these crazy improvements to the business. It was just, there’s not really that much acknowledgement. It’s kind of like, Oh, cool. Like, look at all this extra money. And like,  what he does is he handles the back end of stuff. Like he handles, you know, payroll and supply management and some of the other things.

He also prevents another restaurant where he spends most of his time there.  but for me, it’s like. This is my family. And when you’re with the family business, like you will always butt heads over everything. Somebody will always have something to say that might not agree with you because it’s a different perspective, right?

Like from my parents, it’s like they’re so used to this like an old school way of business. I’m with my brother, he’s more worried about the supply chain, like, you know, finance aspect. And through me, I’m more like marketing/logistics/creative.  and I’m happy to take it under my belt.

You know, I think that I’ve made the brand my life, both DKs Donuts and donut princess, and so that it’s really paid off. I mean, people recognize the brands,  , people tell their friends about it.  creating super fans. It’s something else that I talk about on my podcast is a really important part of branding.

You want basically somebody to have an experience that they’re going to share organically with their friends and with their family. And that’s what happens when I’m like literally standing behind the brand. So I mean, it’s like you can’t really, if you, you can’t really like to change your family. So we even get work.


Eric: [00:36:28] That is sad as some really good insight and something I’ll have to debate on with my sister and helping out with her. Luckily it’s, it’s, I don’t think it’s as, you know, as big as running,  a retail or  a sh a shop and everything that has a lot of moving parts, but,  no, I’m really, really appreciative that you coming onto the show for us, being able to collaborate, you know, and in each other’s podcasts.

I love for you to just leave off with anything else you want to share with the guests as we close up here

Mayly: [00:37:02] I mean, this is such an interesting time for all of us. I know we’re all impacted.  I always say just like kill them with kindness no matter where you are.  and just spread that positivity because  it will come back to you.  That’s what I do every day. If I have to wake up at 4:00 AM, if I have to drive many miles, if I have to lug it, I, if I have to go through all of these.

Things. I don’t really ever expect anything back. I just, I just am very responsible for my actions,  my intentions are clear and I just, I wish that, you know, all of you guys are okay. Like at the end of the day, like, we’re all human beings. We’re in this together.  I would love for you guys to follow my journey.

 I’ve made some really great friends along the way, including Eric and, you can do. So by following many of my Instagram accounts, let’s see, we’ve got @DKSDonuts, um, @DonutPrincessLA, @MaylyTao, @LunchBoxesForLove, um, and my food, Instagram @FoodForTheCloud. So I’m following my journey, like, and let’s, let’s talk, let’s collaborate.

Like, how can I support you guys?  I’m just, I’m here for you. 

Eric: [00:38:19] Amazing. It’s so impressive because I struggled to handle my two Instagrams. One being my personal and one being the podcast and she’s killing it with how many? She counted five of them and you’re like, I think one of them, you’re going to hit six figures, you know, sooner or later.


Mayly: [00:38:35] Yeah. Yeah. The DK is on. We’re at 84,000 and I started when it was zero. So in your response, it’s like it’s keeping people updated, like people are following you because they want to hear from you. And so it’s really important to, again, be vulnerable. Use your voice and just share with people what’s going on with you.

 [00:38:57] AEric:bsolutely. Thank you so much, Mayly,  for coming on. We’ll talk to you guys soon. Bye. Bye. 

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