Humans of Khmer America

Bunthan Chan and Sinoun Chan

Survivors Bunthan Chan, 58, (left) and Sinoun Chan, 59 (right) are Battambang born Khmer American entrepreneurs. After escaping the Khmer Rouge of the mid-70s, they temporarily stayed in Kao I Dang refugee camp along the Thai-Cambodia border before arriving in Houston, Texas in August 1980. The couple combined siblings total 11 sisters and 7 brothers.

Bunthan Chan and Sinoun Chan

In 1985 after 5 years in between Texas and Missouri, the young twenty-something couple settled in Spring Valley in upstate New York. Crammed inside a 3 bedroom apartment, four families (10+ people) lived together and persevered against language and cultural barriers. Bunthan’s first jobs was a dishwasher, a chef, and a delivery boy. For Sinoun, she would walk 10 miles every day to package hot dogs at the local warehouse. After 9 years of hard work and savings, the couple opened up their first business, Daily Fresh Donuts, now approaching its 30th anniversary.

Learn more about the Chans in future posts.

Part 1 of 2.

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