SugaRush: Transitions: University Ave

Keoni Nguyen talks about how the “best donuts in town” keeps the business alive during construction

Interview: Tauvan
Direction/Editing: Demerius
Photos by: Demerius


Please tell me your name and the name of your business.

My name is Keoni Nguyen and I own SugaRush.

Could you tell me a little bit about your business?

We do wholesale/retail for donuts and coffee.

Could you tell me a little bit about yourself?

I work hard. (Laughs)

Are you originally from this area?

No, I’m originally from southern California.

What made you move from Southern California to Minnesota?


What brought you to the donut business?

I inherited it from my family.

How long has the donut business been in your family?

Seven years.

On your daily bases, what do you do?

I bake, I manage the place, and make sure everything’s intact.

Do you know what SugaRush was before you bought it?

It was another donut shop before we bought it.

How has the light rail construction affected your business?

It dropped—retail wise—75 to 80 percent.

What was it about University [Avenue] that made you choose this location?

It was a prime location and there’s no donut location here in the Twin Cities. We’re the only one.

Have you ever considered moving?

If the rent starts to get to high, then yeah.

How do you feel about the light rail being built on University in general?

I hope it brings a younger generation, you know, near the light rail but, it’s gonna take a while, roughly 7 to 10 years.

Have you been involved in any other programs for businesses that Met-Council or any other councils have created?

Well, they’re doing the— let me see—the forgivable loan. They helped me with the forgivable loan, they helped me with the web page, and they recommended a few businesses to us.

Is there anything else you would like to tell us about your experience on University Avenue?

Well, you gotta come and try to taste University!

Do you have the best donuts in town?

We do have the best donuts in town. (Laughs) Hey, people are driving all over the place for it.


Made possible by the Arts and Cultural Heritage Fund through the vote of Minnesotans on November 4, 2008. Administered by the Minnesota Historical Society.