Stan the Donut Man and Bill’s Donut Shop, both located within a short drive of Cedarville, provide delicious doughnuts to customers while bringing a family atmosphere to the forefront.
Stan the Donut Man
Stan the Donut Man was started about 50 years ago by a man named Stan. The current owner, Janet Foster, bought the shop about 15 years ago.
Currently, it is managed by Jodi Fryman and Shannon Winters, Foster’s two daughters.
The shop has been recognized as “the best in Greene County” according to Fryman.
“We are always ranked somewhere in the top five of the area around here,” Fryman said.
There are three storefront locations for the shop, one in Dayton, one in Xenia and one in West Chester. The shop is known for their tiger tails and their Reese’s delights.
Stan the Donut man delivers doughnuts to 38 local businesses as well, including the Corner Bakery in Cedarville. Fryman said that wholesale is a part of the income, but over-the-counter business is booming as well.
The best-selling doughnuts include the cream filled varieties, the Persian doughnuts and the tiger tails, which are chocolate and vanilla glazed twists.
When asked what she envisions for the future of her business, Fryman simply said “growth.”
Fryman said the most rewarding part of running the business is it’s family oriented.
“We are all family,” Fryman said. “We are local and family run, and it is nice that we can keep everything going and maintained as a small family business.”
Fryman said she estimates that the business sells “thousands of dozens” of doughnuts a day. The shop bakes doughnuts all day and all night.
The shops are open until midnight Thursday through Saturday and until 10 p.m. Sunday through Wednesday.
When describing the business in only a few words, Fryman said, “excellent doughnuts and very family oriented.”
One of the local competitors of Stan the Donut Man’s is Bill’s Donut Shop in Centerville.
Bill’s began in 1960 on East 3rd Street in Dayton. The current owners’ parents, Bill and Faye Elam, started making doughnuts because they wanted to go into business themselves.
In 1979, the shop moved to its current location in Centerville. In 1995, the owners retired and sold the business to two of their children, Lisa and Jim Elam, who both worked at the shop throughout high school.
Savor Magazine has ranked Bill’s among the top 50 doughnut shops in the United States, and a USA Today April 2013 article placed Bill’s in the top 10 greatest doughnut shops across the country.
Lisa Elam said the success of the business is because Bill’s has been family owned all this time.
“We haven’t changed the way we do things since we have started back in the ’60s,” she said. “We added some things, but we have kept the recipes and the tradition all this time.”
The most popular doughnuts vary with the seasons, with pumpkin being popular in the fall. Generally, the sour cream and the basic glazed doughnuts are the most popular.
Olivia Ochs, a Cedarville senior, said Bill’s Donuts is a unique experience with charm and character.
“Bill’s doughnuts are the best when you are at Bill’s (Donut Shop),” Ochs said. “The whole environment, the atmosphere, it is all about the experience.”
The number of doughnuts that the shop makes throughout the week varies based on the day. Elam said business is usually slower near the beginning of the week but gets busier through the week.
Thursday through Sunday, Bill’s has bakers that come in and bake for back-to-back eight-hour shifts. As doughnut supplies go down, the bakers replace them with fresh ones constantly.
Bill’s has many regular customers.
“There is always someone here that they can talk with,” Elam said. “They know my employees pretty well, and they talk back and forth.”
Senior Cedarville student Casey Gollihue said Bill’s creates a fun atmosphere for their customers.
“The workers are always fun to talk to, and they are always really good with the customers,” Gollihue said. “They always ask about your day, and they make jokes. They are just fun to be around.”
Elam said she has a good group of girls and guys that work for the shop.
“I’ve got quite a few employees that have been here for a long time,” Elam said.
One employee has been at Bill’s for 30 years, and another has been at Bill’s for 12 years.
Elam describes Bill’s as a community-minded and people-oriented place.
“I know a lot of people who have work, and it’s a job, where this is more, this is it,” Elam said. “This is what we like to do, so it’s really not even a job.”
Bill’s often fills standing orders for places such as Cedarville University, the University of Dayton and many area public schools. Elam said there have been baby showers, wedding receptions, pig roasts and funeral meals at the shop. There will also be a 5K beginning and ending at the shop next month.
“To me, to be able to do these kinds of things, and to be able to give back to other people, that’s the best part,” Elam said. “If we didn’t have the shop and the customers we have, we wouldn’t be able to pay it forward, so to speak.”
Laura Jani is a senior nursing major and the off-campus news editor for Cedars. She enjoys a freshly brewed cup of coffee, learning the Spanish language and traveling to new destinations.