Here are the Top 10 ‘Daytonians of the Week’ of 2018, based on YOUR readership!

Here is a list of's most-read "Daytonian of the Week" stories of 2018, based on online readers' page views.

It was QUITE a year for our weekly feature profiling a local person who is making a difference for Dayton! And if YOU would like to suggest someone for Daytonian of the Week, please email us at

Many of these most-read Daytonian of the Week features were published in the first few months of 2018, so if you’re like us, you’ve forgotten about them! Enjoy ...

 >> One of Dayton's most popular drag queens opens up about overcoming addiction

"The story of Tina Hightower, one of Dayton's best-known drag queens and our Daytonian of the Week this week, began in 1995 in Louisville, Kentucky. In her world of performance, sequins, lashes and lipstick masked a difficult struggle with addiction. Battling with alcoholism and drug abuse took its toll on the performer, eventually forcing her to stop performing all together. The winding road to recovery finally began 10 years later."

>> Here’s what their parents made Bill’s Donut Shop owners do before they bought the shop

Operating a doughnut shop — especially one that is open 24 hours a day, seven days a week — can be an all-consuming career.

 Bill and Faye Elam, and founders and former owners of Bill's Donut Shop 268 N. Main St. in Centerville, were keenly aware of that, so they insisted their children try out jobs and careers outside of the doughnut shop before they even thought of taking over the family business.

>> Meet the woman behind one of Dayton’s most beloved bakeries

In 1982, Theresa Hammons was eight-and-a-half months pregnant with her first daughter, Ashley, when she and her husband Greg opened Ashley’s Pastry Shop in Oakwood.

>> Meet the duo whose love for craft beer brought them to popular downtown beer bar

If you’re a beer enthusiast in the Dayton area, you probably already know these two — and if not, you will soon.

Gus Stathes, former general manager and beer curator of Ollie’s Place in Washington Twp., and Sara Levin, former social media manager and event planner for Cappy’s Wine & Spirits in Loveland, together bought The Barrel House at 417 E. Third St. in downtown Dayton in late 2017.

Oh, and they got married in 2018, too ... at Warped Wing brewery!

>> Etana Jacobi works to reduce 

It is not how long you live in a place that counts, but the impact you make while there. Etana Jacobi is certainly making her mark on the Gem City.

The Hooksett, N.H. native is the Dayton manager of the Hall of Hunger Initiative, an effort supported by the United Way of the Greater Dayton Area and the Jack W. and Sally D. Eichelberger Foundation, aimed at reducing food insecurity and increasing food access.

Credit: Photos: submitted

Credit: Photos: submitted

>> Meet the man behind Ohio’s best coffee shop

The man behind the “Best Coffee Shop in Ohio” is our Daytonian of the Week.

The somewhat curious “best coffee shop in the state” title was bestowed upon Boosalis Baking & Cafe late last month by USA Today, and while founder Matt Boosalis was appreciative of the recognition, even he acknowledged it as “a nice surprise.”

>> Meet this Dayton couple blending food and innovation

The husband-and-wife team of Joe and Tonia Fish have been deeply intertwined in the Miami Valley’s foodie scene for several years, mostly in and around downtown Dayton, where they own and operate The Chef Case at the 2nd Street Market.

>> Zombie Dogz owners: “We have a lot of new hot dog creations in the works”

“Zombie Dogz scored some sweet state and national recognition along the way while helping to jump-start the Dayton-area food-truck scene, winning the “Best Food Truck in Ohio” designation in Ohio Magazine’s 2016 Best of Ohio Readers’ Ballot and finishing second in Mobile Cuisine’s 2016 Hot Dog Vendor of the Year national poll.

Today, Zombie Dogz owners David and Lee VanArtsdalen are focusing their efforts on their restaurant on Brown Street near the entrance to the University of Dayton, which opened in November 2016. The first local food-truck owners to make the transition to bricks-and-mortar, the VanArtsdalens oversee a bustling restaurant with a cult-like (well, zombie-like) following that is closing in on 40,000 Facebook fans.”

>> Buckeye Vodka co-founder is our Daytonian of the Week

In the midst of the 2009 recession, Jim Finke noticed something. Sales of liquor and fine spirits remained strong while nearly every other sector of the economy was tanking. In rough times, spirits sales have always remained remarkably steady, and in good times, liquor sales have increased rather robustly.

So Finke, his brother and a few other associates decided to launch a new venture, and in 2011, Dayton-based Buckeye Vodka was born. In seven short years, the brand has been keenly successful, as a visit to any Dayton-area bar will attest.

>> Daytonian of the Week: DeShona Pepper Robertson, a life of dance

DeShona Pepper Robertson, the Stivers School for the Arts dance director, moved to Dayton from Chicago 26 years ago to dance with the Dayton Contemporary Dance Company. She performed with DCDC for 12-years before joining the staff at Stivers.

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