Bill’s Donut Shop: What to know about this Centerville favorite

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Bill’s Donut Shop: What to know about this Centerville favorite

Bill’s Donut Shop in Centerville is a family-owned coffee and donut shop that has been part of the Miami Valley since 1960. 

Here’s a few things to know about Bill’s: 

Founded in 1960. Many know of Bill’s Donuts as a donut and coffee shop in Centerville, but the original location was in downtown Dayton. Bill’s was founded in 1960 by Bill and Faye Elam and moved to several locations around the Miami Valley before settling, nearly 20 years later, at its current location at 268 N Main Street in Centerville.  

Bill's Donut Shop in Centerville. TY GREENLEES / STAFF Ty Greenlees/Ty Greenlees

Open 24 Hours. The owners decided to operate 24 hours a day because of the NCR workers that would stop by after their shifts. NCR third-shift employees would stop at the donut shop on their way home and Bill Elam would provide coffee and donuts from the back door using the honor system, according to the Bill’s website. 

New management in 1995. In 1995, the founders decided to retire and sold their business to their children. Siblings Lisa Elam-Tucker and Jim Elam have added on to their parents’ legacy of delicious donuts by also selling treats such as danishes, buckeyes, cupcakes, cookies and cappuccinos. 

Bill's Donut Shop, 268 N. Main St. Centerville owners Lisa Tucker and Jim Elam in the kitchen. The donuts are famously served far and near. Staff photo by Jim Witmer Jim Witmer

Founder died in 2010. Bill Elam Sr., co-founder of Bill’s Donut Shop, passed away on Aug. 16, 2010 at the age of 75.

Ranked second in the nation. In June 2017, Bill’s was named second place on the list of “The 15 Best Donut Shops in America” as compiled by Businessinsider.com. This was another in a line of mentions on national lists for best donuts including “The 50 finest Donut Shops in America” (Saveur Magazine, 2013), “10 Great Places to Get Doughnuts” (USA Today, 2013), and “Dozen Best Donuts in America” (Thrillist.com, 2015). 

Giving back to the community. The Elam family and Bill’s Donut Shop have been large supporters of the Make-A-Wish Foundation and have donated tens of thousands of dollars to help children in the community.

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