Baker Benji’s reopened the doors to the former space of Evans Bakery in April and plans to hold a grand opening on Saturday, May 20.
The first 25 people in the door that day will receive one free donut or one free cupcake a month for a year. They must show their ID to claim, one certificate per household, no rollovers, a press release from the bakery said. The celebration kicks off at 8 a.m. featuring a ribbon cutting as well as a food truck, music and street performers, weather permitting.
Dayton.com talked with owner Benjamin “Benji” Stuckey after he first opened the doors on April 22.
“Saturday went great,” said Stuckey. “The neighborhood showed out pouring support and we were sold out of donuts at 11:30 a.m.”
He said his sister from Jackson, Ohio was his first customer at 6 a.m. followed by a longtime customer of Evans Bakery.
Located at 700 Troy Street in the Old North Dayton neighborhood, the bakery is open 6 a.m. to 2 p.m. Tuesday through Saturday.
“This is a dream come true for me,” Stuckey said. “Ten years of hard work all built up to this, and being able to continue this legacy is just the icing on the cake.”
Stuckey said the bakery is offering a limited menu at the moment with plans to add more items weekly leading up to its future grand opening. Customers can expect doughnuts each morning along with cream horns, cookies, decorated cookies, cupcakes and much more.
Stuckey previously said he was excited to make Evans Bakery’s doughnut staples and add new flavor profiles. During the soft opening he was happy to debut three Baker Benji’s originals including a cotton candy doughnut, maple cream long john and coconut custard long john.
Prior to the soft opening, Stuckey offered a backdoor doughnut special in which doughnuts were sold at a discounted price to avoid waste.
“The neighborhood absolutely loved it,” Stuckey said. “They found it very humorous to go to the back door and knock to get doughnuts. But they still stopped by and we almost sold out every day.”
Stuckey said it still feels “surreal” that he owns a brick-and-mortar spot with nearly 100 years of history. He added that he is excited to continue this Dayton tradition and hopes to partner with other restaurants and coffee shops in the area.
“The community has come out in full support,” said Stuckey. “(I’m) not sure who is more excited to have the doors at 700 Troy St. open, my team and I, or the neighborhood.”
Stuckey was able to open the storefront with the help of the First Floor Fund, a program funded by the City of Dayton’s Dayton Recovery Plan and administered by CityWide Development Corporation. The goal of the fund is to “activate storefronts in vacant or underutilized spaces along neighborhood commercial corridors and the Greater Downtown area,” according to CityWide’s website.
Baker Benji’s is the official baker of The Ohio Renaissance Festival and can be found at the Ashville Viking Festival (late April), Celtic Fest Ohio (mid-June), the Ohio Renaissance Festival (September through October) and Yuletide Village (late November through mid-December).