Get ‘em while they’re fresh, new donut shop opens in Halls

Serah Sam Poeung was renowned for her shop “Buck‘N Good Donuts” in Texas. But seven years ago she quit making them and opened a pizza business instead. “Everyone missed the donuts and begged me to come back, they missed the taste,” said Poeung. “My older son studied food and graduated from college and said “Mom, you have the best donuts – you don’t taste the nasty things or the grease, you take care of the dough. You can’t change the world, but you can feed them better.””
Poeung, married a local man and moved to Knoxville in January. “I decided I wanted to do donuts,” she said. After months of hard work, Poeung’s family opened Buck‘N Good Donuts at 2625 Maynardville Pike on July 16.
Every morning, they get up at 2.30 a.m. to mix fresh dough from scratch. “Some donuts you eat and they are heavy, but we use fresh ingredients and everything is very light,’ said Poeung. “We are all about the quality. When you fry (the donuts) everything has to be perfect timing so the dough doesn’t soak up all of the oil.”
The front counter is filled with 18 different flavored regular donuts and 10 larger sized donuts. The larger donuts include apple are cherry fritters, donuts filled with custard, chocolate, raspberry cream, strawberry, vanilla angel cream and lemon as well as bear claws, twists and eclairs. As well as donut holes and cinna-minis. “The most popular is our signature apple fritter, it’s the best,” said Poeung. “We brought all of our donuts (from Texas) and we added red velvet because everyone loves it here.”
Buck‘N Good Donuts’ breakfast menu also includes plain and filled croissants and biscuits as well as breakfast burritos.
“In the evening we eat at home as a family, so we decided to bring lunch (to the menu),” she said. Poeung was very particular when it came to the meat in her burgers, choosing only all natural, hormone free, grass fed beef and free-range chicken. The lunch menu includes four specialty burgers, including the “Volcano” which has jalapenos and hot sauce and the “Hulk” which has avocado and bacon, in addition to regular hamburgers and cheeseburgers and a Philly Steak. The meal deals include a pig-in-a-blanket, donut holes and a drink – in Lil’ Buck or Buck size. Fresh juices are priced by the pound.
Buck’N Good Donuts is open 5:30 a.m.-5 p.m. seven days a week, but the hours may change depending on business. “We open at 5:30, because when you go to work, we are here already if they want to wake up and have a donut and coffee,” said Poeung.
“Family came and helped me open and train the staff, but I have local employees,” said Poeung, who wants to have a positive impact on Halls. “In Texas I was known for my donut shop and people would say “you have to go there”, I want local people to say the same here.”
As for the name, Poeung said it is a nod to her time in Texas. “I know it’s so crazy here, but in Texas it’s normal – in Texas we are farmers, we ride horses and that’s where we got the idea,” she said. Her son also helped draw and design the eye-catching logo.
Since Poeung signed the lease in March, the interior has been totally redecorated and the layout completely rejigged. “Everything is new, that’s why it took a long time,” said Poeung. “We wanted it to be simple and clean. Before it was closed off, we wanted to make it so people could see us making the donuts.”
Buck’N Good Donuts & Breakfast: 2625 Maynardville Pike, 865-377-4011

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