At 5.a.m. on April 8, 2016, Dilla’s Delights opened its doors for a one-day-only preview of its new brick and mortar location in Detroit. The shop is a tribute to the late legendary producer, J. Dilla, who succumbed to lupus in February 2006, just days after releasing his celebrated final album, Donuts. The album’s title was a nod to Dilla’s love for donuts, and the project further solidified his standing as one of the most influential producers in hip-hop.
Founded by Dilla’s uncle, Herman Hayes, Dilla’s Delights has been in operation for two years, though this marks the debut of an actual storefront. Already named one of Detroit’s Most Anticipated Spring Openings by Detroit Eater, the 800 square-foot space is nearly completed, reportedly awaiting a few minor cosmetic enhancements and is located in The Ashley , where Dilla’s mother at one time operated a restaurant. However, according to Detroit Eater, the actual making of the donuts will continue to take place at the Avalon International Breads’ facilities and delivered daily to the shop, as the space is small and doesn’t allow for a kitchen or seating.
Nevertheless, Dilla’s will serve 15 signature organic doughnuts and Water Street Coffee out of Kalamazoo. Hayes and his partners are reportedly already looking for ways to expand the brand, and Dilla’s Delights is currently developing a line of vegan donuts as well as exploring a partnership with Whole Foods.
Of course, Dilla’s wouldn’t be nearly as delightful without music. To that end, the shop will feature an in-house turntable and a steady stream of Dilla and Dillla-inspired jams.
“Herm is very adamant that [the records are played] front to back,” Hayes’ partner, Mike Vanover explained to Detroit Eater. “No requests. You don’t skip nothin’. 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?”
Once the shop is officially open it’ll operate Monday-Saturday from 5 a.m. until the donuts are sold out, which if they’re even half as good as his music, won’t take long.
one day-only preview of its new