Monarch Donuts: The Famous Donut Place in Arcadia

Monarch Donuts: The Famous Donut Place in Arcadia

Aahana Dutta, Staff Writer

Craving donuts? How about some sweet, delectable apple fritters? Well, look no further because Arcadia houses a donut shop that serves LA’s best apple fritters according to The LA Times.

The shop, located on 15 W. Huntington Drive, is small but brightly colored with a humble and friendly owner who goes above and beyond to make his customers’ day special. 

The shop’s owner, Jonathan Ung, is described as a kind and energetic man. In fact, on several occasions, if someone is short on money, he will give them donuts for free. And the coolest part? The shop opens at 5 a.m in the morning and the donuts are already sold out by, if not before, 8 a.m. 

In case you’re still not convinced that this donut shop is worth paying a visit to, let me tell you about the numerous articles written about this shop including an LA Times article. A quick look at the shop’s Google reviews is also enough to prove just how awesome the shop is. 

“He is the best baker with a heart of gold! This is the best donut place in town. These are the best-tasting donuts on Old Route 66!” wrote Trevor Burfitt on his Google review.

“My whole family loves this place. The donuts are amazing but most of all, Jonathan is an outstanding human being. His devotion to his work and the community is remarkable. Thank you for your hospitality today. You make our day!” wrote Karina Reyes Soria.

I had the pleasure of interviewing Ung after I messaged him on Instagram. 

I went there early in the morning at 6:50 a.m. to make sure there were still some donuts left to buy, and I was warmly greeted by Ung who was sporting a green holiday-themed jacket. His shop does not include a dining space, only a counter where people can order donuts on the go. Still, he invited me into his shop where another gentleman was assisting him. We had a quick chat while Ung was serving his customers, and I was able to hear how Ung is kind to his customers and how he loves kids and has a soft spot for mothers. In fact, his phone’s ringtone is a song sung by his niece. 

Ung also always greets his customers with “Hey Sunshine!” and always tells them to “drive safe, okay?” or “God bless you, have a nice day!” when they’re leaving.

During the interview, I found out that Ung actually comes to his shop at 1:30 a.m. in the morning, and when I asked him if it was tiring to have to survive with such less sleep, he asked me, “if you were given one week to live, would you waste it sleeping? I only sleep when I need to.”

I also asked him if he ever thought of increasing his prices considering his sales were so high, and he made a gagging motion with his hands and explained that to him, it is not about money, but about people and interaction with them.

I also learned that his inspiration to become the person he is today came from his grandmother, his mother, and his spirituality. 

He ended the interview by saying, “Every day, I only listen to my dearest beautiful God. I live because of my beautiful grandma so that I can honor my purpose which is my beautiful mom and family every day, when they’re alive.” He continued by saying “the motto for the shop is people first, donuts second and money third. And lastly, I want the world to know that moms have the hardest jobs.”

After our interview, Ung offered me a complimentary strawberry shortcake donut, which is one of his favorite donuts to make, and made sure to tell me to always keep my confidence high and to never try to fit in. 

Overall, I had a great time talking to Ung, and I look forward to visiting him again, soon. 

If you’re feeling down, a donut and conversation with Ung might just be what you need to cheer yourself up!

Photo courtesy of YELP.COM