Shipley Do-nuts weathers changes on Abram Street

by Edrea Au

Walking through the front door, you are greeted by the smell of sugar even after closing time. The sugar glaze smell is still strong from the morning batches of doughnuts.

Billy Tran has been the owner of Shipley Do-nuts since 2002, though the franchise has existed on Abram Street since before Tran bought it. Tran has been the owner long enough to see the transformations that downtown Arlington has gone through.

In 2002, Abram was a quiet street. It had many apartments and stores, some of which were torn down as Cowboys Stadium was built. Tran also recalls the construction of the Tarrant County Sub-Courthouse.

He remains optimistic for his business, even as new changes are being made around downtown Arlington.

Tran left Vietnam as a young boy and lived in a Cambodian refugee camp before moving to the United States.

“I’ve lost count the number of years I’ve been in the U.S.,” Tran said.

Tran first lived in California along with his brother. The two of them opened a doughnut shop after many years of struggle and hard work. Now Tran is an expert at doughnuts with more than a decade of experience.

“I still love making doughnuts to this day,” Tran said. “I am never bored.”

Shipley Do-nuts sells more than 41 different types of doughnuts, including yeast, filled and cake doughnuts. They also sell pastries and kolaches.

Tran normally wakes up at 3 a.m. to prepare for the morning rush of customers, selling maybe 100 doughnuts total for the day. He hopes to see more students from UT Arlington in his doughnut shop.

Have you been to Shipley Do-nuts on Abram Street? What is your favorite thing to get there? If you haven’t been there, what’s your favorite doughnut you would like to try?

About the blogger: Edrea Au is a Public Relations and Journalism double major at UT Arlington. She loves to cook as much as she loves to eat and blogs about both at Au Life is Golden.