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Daylight Donuts made fresh everyday

Jeong-Seon and Ira Elias get up at 3 a.m. every day to make the donuts at their Daylight Donuts shop, 5899 Dixie Highway. Photo by Phil Custodio (click for larger version)
December 29, 2010 - After 30 years in the electronics industry, Ira Elias was ready for a change.

"I wanted a business that was fun and something you could do with your family," said Elias, Lake Orion resident since 2004. "Coffee and donuts seemed a no-brainer."

He opened Daylight Donuts, 5899 Dixie Highway, with his wife, Jeong-Seon. They make 50-100 dozen donuts of all sorts on location every morning.

"We get up at 3 a.m. every day," he said. "We make everything on the premises using fresh, high-quality ingredients. The customer comes first if someone asks for a type of frosting or filling, we'll make it."

He picked the Daylight Donuts company, founded in 1954 in Tulsa, Okla., after more than a year of research into several franchise opportunities.

"I like the company history and business model," he said. "There are 1,000 across the country. This is the first one in Michigan."

As part of his research, he visited shops and talked to owners.

"They told me not to expect a lot of sleep in the first six months to a year," he said. "It's what you make of it, how hard you want to work."

They also emphasized the importance of location visibility from the road, and even which side of the road. For Dixie Highway, that means the west side, southbound lanes, to serve morning commuters driving into the Pontiac area, he said.

"That's the breakfast side," he said. "Finding the right side of the road is key."

Daylight Donuts provided an intense, one-week training onsite, as well as ongoing support.

"Everything how to mix, cook, dress, display," he said. "It's a lot."

He takes pride in the quality of his donuts and coffee, he said.

"It's fantastic it sells itself," he said.

Plans for the future include several new stores, perhaps in Lake Orion, Auburn Hills, and Waterford.

Grand opening and ribbon cutting with Clarkston Area Chamber of Commerce is 8-9 a.m., Wednesday, Jan. 12.

The shop is open 6 a.m. daily. Call 248-618-3974.

Phil is editor for The Clarkston News. He is a veteran of the first Iraq war, having served in the U.S. Army.
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