It is a universal truth that there never can be enough doughnuts. With that in mind, Carytown’s Dixie Donuts and the Innsbrook-area Daylight Donuts have formed a partnership to reach more folks desperately in need of a wider variety of sugary deliciousness.
“We opened Daylight three years ago,” says co-owner Lance Elwood. Along with business partner Joanne Ellis, Elwood also owns Career Support Systems, a company that helps those with disabilities find employment. “We had two goals in mind: one, to open a little doughnut and coffee shop, and two, to employ folks we work with in our other company.”
However, running the two businesses at the same time proved to be more difficult than they anticipated. “We learned pretty quickly we weren’t restaurant folks,” Elwood says. They needed a new plan.
“In September, [Elwood and Ellis] approached us,” says Betsy Harrell Thomas, co-owner of Dixie Donuts, along with partner J Frank. “We all hit it off immediately.”
An important piece was the continuation of Elwood and Ellis’ business model that employed people with disabilities, Elwood says.
“We have all been touched in one way or another by folks with disabilities,” says Thomas, “and we are all very supportive of the mission that Daylight Donuts set out to accomplish.”
By joining forces, Dixie Donuts has access to the equipment necessary to produce yeast-risen doughnuts, and both their original gourmet variety and the new, more traditional offerings will be available at each location. The name in Carytown will remain the same and will replace that of Daylight Donuts in the West End. Thomas and Frank will run the day-to-day operations.
“This is a win-win for both shops. We’re partnering with Daylight, although we will move forward as Dixie,” says Thomas. “Dixie can now expand [its] product line… [and] will continue to work with CSS and the mission of employing special needs folks. … We're taking the best of what they did and combining it with the best of what we've done and moving forward together.”
Expect to see the Dixie Donuts banner up at the Daylight Donuts location today. “We’ll roll it out a little bit here and a little bit there,” Elwood says. Before you know it, you’ll wonder how you ever lived in the West End without them.