Bill’s Donut Shop in Centerville changing owners after decades in same family

Owners say all bakers, recipes and equipment will stay the same, adding “it was just time” after nearly 30 years running 24/7 operation

Credit: ty-greenlees

Credit: ty-greenlees

CENTERVILLE — Bill’s Donut Shop is changing hands for the first time in nearly three decades.

Siblings Lisa Tucker and Jim Elam, who took over the Centerville business from their parents in 1995, said they’re selling it to Marshall and Amy Lachman of Beavercreek, who previously lived in Centerville for more than 20 years.

Tucker said everything at Bill’s Donut Shop, which is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week at 268 N. Main St., will remain the same, including the bakers, recipes, equipment and staff.

“Nothing is going to change,” Tucker told Dayton Daily News on Thursday, a day prior to closing on the sale. “Everything will remain the same as far as the product, the recipes, the employees. Everything is in line to just remain the same and transfer ownership.”

Bill and Faye Elam launched Bill’s Donut Shop in downtown Dayton in 1960, but moved the business to Centerville in 1967. In the 1970s, there were several Bill’s locations in the Dayton area, including Vandalia, Kettering and Huber Heights. The shop moved to its current location on North Main Street in Centerville in 1979.

The brother-sister team put the shop and the building in which it resides up for sale about a year ago, Tucker said.

“It was just time,” she said. “I mean, we’ve been doing this close to 30 years, plus we grew up in the business, so our lives have been a 24/7 operation since high school.”

Tucker said Bill’s Donut Shop employs 60 people, nearly 50 of them full time. One team member has been at the shop nearly 40 years and some bakers have been there more than 20 years, she said.

“It’s been a very family-oriented business,” Tucker said.

Leaving the business is “bittersweet,” she said.

“We’ve been part of this community since 1967 when we moved to Centerville,” Tucker said. “We’ve seen several generations grow up through here and we’ve been very community involved, which I intend to do on my own still, with community projects, but we’re turning it over to another family and hopefully, it will all stay a family business with the community in mind.”

Marshall Lachman said buying the shop “really is a dream come true.“

“Like so many families in the Miami Valley, Bill’s has been a part of our lives for as long as we can remember,” Lachman said in a release. “As our kids grew up, we always looked forward to that Friday morning trip to Bill’s for a donut before dropping the kids off at school.”

Lachman said he and his wife are “truly honored” that Tucker and Elam have entrusted them with the business the Elam family has built and that they look forward to “maintaining the same level of excellence that everyone has come to expect” from the shop for the past 63 years.

Bill’s Donut Shop will continue to be open 24 hours a day, seven days a week, he said.

The shop has become a fixture in the Centerville community and a favorite among doughnut devotees from across region. It also has garnered praise from publications nationwide for many years.

This spring, the shop was one of two Ohio establishments that made Yelp’s Top 100 list for U.S. Donut Shops, which included doughnut shops from nearby states Indiana, Kentucky, Michigan and Pennsylvania, among others.

Credit: Jim Witmer

Credit: Jim Witmer

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