After close to three years of anticipation, the wait is finally over. One of Detroit's favorite doughnut purveyors Dilla's Delights debuts downtown on Tuesday. Partner Mike Vanover tells Eater the shop has passed its final inspections and will swing open promptly at 5 a.m. just in time for your morning fried dough and coffee fix.
1. Dilla's Delights hip hop roots: Founder Herman Hayes aka "Uncle Herm" was the uncle of late Detroit hip hop legend J Dilla who died in 2006. Hayes recalls bringing his nephew doughnuts as a child. Later, when he was informed that Dilla was naming his final album Donuts, Hayes he felt honored. "For the kid to be such a genius and a humble human being it humbles me to actually be somebody that he looked up to," Hayes told Eater last July.
2. The shop is tiny and doesn't include a kitchen or a fryer: Like the outlets that have been serving Dilla's Delights sweet treats for years, the brand's brick-and-mortar location will receive daily doughnut deliveries. Hayes prepares and fries his organic doughnuts out of Avalon International Bread's commercial kitchen. This also means there's minimal standing room and once doughnuts are sold-out the shop will close for the day. The company hopes to someday build-out its own production facility off-site.
3. The building has historic significance: The Ashley building, which houses Dilla's Dilla's Delights, was formerly the Milner Hotel. According to Hayes, Dilla's mother operated a restaurant in the Milner and at one time lived there.
4. About the menu: Hayes keeps things creative at Dilla's with 15 organic doughnut flavors and is developing a line of vegan options. Additionally the shop is serving Kalamazoo-based Water Street Coffee.
5. About the music: Drawing on its musical roots, Dilla's Delights setup includes a turntable. The shop traded fans doughnuts for albums last month. Vanover told Eater in April: "You might come in here and hear some racy electronic stuff from the '60s. You might come in here and hear Slum Village or you might come in here and hear some jazz, some Brazilian jazz, electrofunk, who knows?" Much of the music will be inspired by J Dilla samples. Word is Hayes is insistent that albums are played in their entirety.
6. About the decorations: As much as the shop pays tribute to J Dilla, the doughnut brand also represents the tireless work of Hayes. Visitors can spot images of some of the founder's favorite baseball players alongside photos of Paradise Valley on display inside the shop.
7. Other offerings: Want to rep Dilla's Delights around town? The shop will offer branded T-shirts for sale with updated designs.
8. Where else can you find Dilla's Delights? Cafe Con Leche, Parker Street Market, Goodwells Natural Foods, and Red Hook Detroit
Dilla's Delights will open Monday through Saturday at 5 a.m.