Just in time for the new year, Dutch Girl Donuts is set to reopen in early January following a two-year hiatus. Taking the helm of the iconic shop, which was founded by the Timmer family in 1947, is another familiar face in Detroit’s small business community: Paddy Lynch, owner of the city’s historic bathhouse, the Schvitz.
In a news release issued Tuesday afternoon, Lynch said that Dutch Girl has been a beloved part of his family since before he was born. In addition to running the Schvitz, Lynch is also a third-generation funeral director with Lynch & Sons.
“I’m extremely grateful, honored and excited to carry this local favorite forward for the Timmer family,” says Lynch in the release.
Dutch Girl Donuts closed in 2021 after the deaths of both founders Gene and Lauren Timmer, who married in 1976. In June, the family revealed that Dutch Girl would return, but that it would be sold in its entirety (including the property and recipes) to an at-the-time undisclosed buyer. That buyer turned out to be Lynch.
Dutch Girl and Lynch’s family have a shared history operating on Woodward. According to the news release, Lynch’s grandfather, Edward J. Lynch, Jr., who founded Lynch & Sons, launched his career on Woodward Avenue in Highland Park in 1948, a year after the Timmers opened the doughnut shop a few miles north. The Lynch family continues to operate several funeral homes in the area. When Paddy Lynch moved to the city’s Arden Park neighborhood in 2011 — not far from the doughnut shop — he frequented the place to pick up doughnuts for his staff during his commute to Lynch & Sons’ Clawson location.
Paddy Lynch’s cousin Tim Lynch, Jr., who manages Lynch & Sons Walled Lake, handled funeral services for Gene and Lauren, and had previously buried Gene’s mother Cecilia. As part of the purchase agreement, Gene and Lauren’s son, Jon Timmer, who’s been working in the shop for the last 20 years, will stay on to make the family’s recipes.
“Dutch Girl Donuts is an institution for many Detroiters,” says Lynch. “I’m looking forward to this journey and to working with Jon Timmer to get Dutch Girl up and running in the early new year.”
Dutch Girl Donuts is at 19000 Woodward Ave.