The world can seem fairly polarized these days. However, there is a place on the 1300 block of the McDowell Road “Miracle Mile” that uses a great unifying force – amazing food!
Rainbow Donuts is a family-owned business that draws customers from diverse backgrounds. As I sat in a booth, I watched people arrive in brand new luxury cars and really old economy vehicles. Some people just walked in from the street. I saw doctors, students, and construction workers all come into the store, order their pastries, coffees, and smoothies, and leave with the biggest smiles. The name Rainbow Donuts could be referring to their colorful array of artisan treats or to the diversity of the customers. Either way, everyone in the establishment looked happy.
From Cambodia to our community
The current family member to take the helm at Rainbow Donuts is Sokheang. She moved to the United States from Cambodia in 2005. Sokheang learned the craft of donut making from her sister who then ran the shop. In 2015, she took the reins. Sokheang greets everyone with a smile and seems to remember almost everyone who walks through the door, as well as their favorite orders. She exudes boundless energy as she spins from the front counter to the cappuccino machine, to the boba mixers, and in and out of the back kitchen area.
Always time for donuts
Sokheang told me that her busiest time of day is between 6 – 9 am. I arrived at the Rainbow Donuts at 10 am and stayed through 11:30. I don’t think there was ever more than 5 minutes between arriving customers. Although that late in the day many of the most popular pastries were sold out, Sokheang offered delicious alternatives. Customers who were looking for Chocolate Longs seemed just as satisfied with Chocolate Rounds. Sokheang told me that customer favorites include her apple fritters and maple bacon donuts. I tried the buttermilk donut and was absolutely delighted. More of a small cake than traditional round donut, this pastry had, as the name implies, a creamy, buttery flavor that melted in my mouth. Sokheang told me that her largest order was for 130 dozen donuts – 1560 delicious pastries! Rainbow Donuts is also a participant in the Meals from the Mile campaign that supports the workers at Banner – University Medical Center Phoenix.
Not just sweets at Rainbow Donuts
Rainbow Donuts also offers breakfast and lunch sandwiches. The bagel sandwich has scrambled eggs, ham, bacon, and cheese. The croissant sandwich includes cheese, red onions, lettuce, pickles, and an assortment of deli meats. While both these sandwiches look delicious, I do not know how someone could walk out of the store without at least one of Sokheang’s creative donuts.
Changes to the Miracle Mile
I asked Sokheang if she has noticed any major changes to the Miracle Mile shopping district since she took over Rainbow Donuts. She responded that she has seen an increase in the number of coffee shops, but they are not impacting her business.
Support a local merchant
Rainbow Donuts is located at 1347 E. McDowell Road. They are open from 4 am – 6 pm and can be reached at 602-256-7404.