“My wife, Dee and I, were looking for a business to start. We prayed about it and asked God to lead us in a direction to help secure our family income. Both of our jobs were at risk due to the economy. My wife said that we need to invest in our own company and control our destiny with God’s help. I agreed,” William Gruetter said.
Dee Gruetter has a background in baking, William in cooking. At first, the couple was thinking cupcakes, but changed their minds while on a family vacation.
“While on vacation in Gulf Shores, Ala., we tried our first Daylight Donuts. We knew then that these donuts would be a success at home,” William Gruetter said.
After checking into the franchise, as if meant to be, the Cleveland territory was available and the Gruetters quickly took the opportunity.
“My wife and I decided to take a chance on the American dream. Our first year anniversary is on March 20th,” he said.
Daylight Donuts offers a total of 80 different varieties of donuts, with a minimum of 42 varieties available every day. Additional daily specials are offered every day as well, such as Daylight Donuts’ three-pound glazed donut. It’s 1 foot by 1 foot by 1 1/2 inches in size.
“People come from Dalton and Chattanooga. Some have come from as far away as Murphy, N.C.,” Dee Gruetter said. Others make a point of stopping in on the regular trips past Cleveland just to get some of their favorite Daylight Donuts. “One man comes just for the apple fritters.”
In fact, their apple fritters and apple filled donuts have been such a hit, after being part of the Apple Festival here in Cleveland for the first time this past year, two officials from the Festival’s board personally asked Daylight Donuts to return again this year.
“We’ll definitely be back in 2011,” Dee Gruetter said.
Customers have also asked Daylight Donuts to make special donuts for them, which have now been added to the menu, including a key lime donut, a piña colada donut, as well a Neapolitan donut.
The shop also offers the harder to find red velvet and cake donuts.
Maple bacon donuts are also a staple at Daylight Donuts.
“Some people are skeptical, but when they try the maple bacon donut, they love it,” she said.
“The maple bacon donut takes like a waffle with bacon on the side,” she said. “I’m also noticing people appreciate the unglazed cake donuts, available in vanilla, blueberry, chocolate and red velvet. The amount of sugar in these donuts is reduced.”
Orders also can be phoned in. Just give them 24 hours notice.
“You’ll find donuts here that you won’t find anywhere else,” Dee Gruetter said. “We have the variety and assortment that customers seem to like.”
And they will keep coming up with new and more creative flavor combinations in the future.
“We embrace creativity,” she said. New flavors, patterns, styles and techniques. “We’re constantly thinking up new ideas.”
But don’t be fooled by the name. Donuts isn’t all Daylight Donuts creates every day. The Gruetters also offer sausage, bacon and ham biscuits, sausage and gravy, and sausage rolls are available all day while supplies last. All-beef hot dogs are available for lunch.
Cappuccinos, including sugar-free, hot chocolate, and three different types of coffee are also offered every day, including iced coffee. Special summer blended drinks are soon to be featured this summer that are similar to a frappe.
Check the yellow sign outside of their shop for daily specials.
Daylight Donuts has also catered events, such as weddings and baby showers.
Free WiFi is available, as well as a 55” flat screen for customers to enjoy.
“Unlike the larger chains, we make our donuts from scratch everyday from measuring the flour to frying them the old-fashioned way. No frozen donuts here! We also donate the donuts left over at closing to charitable organizations in Cleveland. This way, nothing goes to waste,” he said.
More than eight local organizations receive donations from Daylight Donuts on a regular basis.
Daylight Donuts has been well received by the Cleveland community.
“Customers kept saying they loved the donuts,” Dee Gruetter said.
That’s why Daylight Donuts is going to have a Customer Appreciation Day on March 31. Customers can buy one dozen glazed donuts at a much reduced priced between 6 a.m. and noon on that day, while supplies last. Only one dozen at the reduced price will be available per customer for this event.
But the couple isn’t stopping there. They took another big step.
“We’re proud to announce that we’re opening a new store on Exit 20 by the Dairy Queen on April 9, William Gruetter said. The second area Daylight Donut shop will be located inside of the BP gas station behind the movie theater and the fireworks store. A small dining area, as well as a drive-thru, like one at the original location, is also available.
“We would like to thank God and our customers for making this possible,” William Gruetter said.