As good as Noca's doughnuts are, they do not come cheap ($8 for the basic order) — and the place is certainly not open 24/7. If you are looking to score some quality sweet dough at 2 a.m., you will need to look elsewhere.

We caught up with BoSa Donuts' owner Jackson Chao at 10:30 p.m., just after he started a Friday overnight shift. BoSa is a happening place even at this hour; we slipped in just as a dozen teens left with bulging white bags and before a family of five could decide what they wanted.

The original Chandler location was purchased from a Cambodian family in 2006, and Chao and his family have opened at least one new location a year for a total of seven BoSa locations throughout the Valley. When asked about his plans, Chao smiles and says he hopes to open two or three more locations in 2012.

Doughnuts are serious business at Noca.
Jackie Mercandetti
Doughnuts are serious business at Noca.

"What customers need, we have to provide," he says.

By way of example, Chao explains that BoSa normally only makes plain or glazed twists. But he is more than happy to whip up a batch of chocolate or maple-glazed twists if a customer requests them. This customer-centered approach is evident in their expansion plans. Chao says he only opens franchises in areas where customers have actually called and requested them.

Chao has made doughnuts for more than 20 years now. The basics of the recipe and, most important, the techniques were taught to him by a relative who had worked in the pastry industry for decades before that. Chao was unwilling to share the specifics of his process, asking simply, "Why is In-N-Out so popular?" By his reckoning, BoSa is popular because they combine quality ingredients with consistent execution.

Though the process may be a mystery, the product is not. Chao says that his customers appreciate several things about his doughnuts. First, they want something that is light and fluffy, not greasy and dense. Second, they are looking for a doughnut that is satisfying without being cloying. He repeated a refrain heard at many an Asian bakery: "Not too sweet."

So doughnuts are hip and cool, right? People are buying them by the dozen at places like LaMar's or BoSa and shelling out real money to score gourmet doughnuts at places like Noca.

But if doughnuts are hot, then why did doughnut giant Krispy Kreme go from 11 Arizona stores in 2010 to just one this August?

If you have to ask, then you've never tried one a doughnut at BoSa, let alone one of Eliot Wexler's.

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