'Dilla's Delights' donut shop opens in Downtown Detroit

Family of influential hip hop producer J Dilla opened the shop

DETROIT – New funky doughnut shop Dilla’s Delights opened this week at the corner of John R and Center in downtown Detroit this week. 

Watch WDIV's Shawn Lee interview Herm Hayes, uncle of the legendary Detroit hip hop producer J Dilla, U.S. veteran, and master donut chef: 

Prior to the opening, the owner and chief donut maker himself, Uncle Herm Hayes gave us a behind the scenes look at the shop and the inspiration behind it.

Uncle Herm is the uncle of the late James Yancey. Yancey was better known as hip-hop record producer and beat-maker “J Dilla.”

J Dilla’s unique sound and complex beats live on in hundreds of songs, including tracks on his final studio album, "Donuts," which was released three days before his lupus-related death in 2006.  He remains a respected music maker around the world. 

The name of the shop, “Dilla’s Delights” is a surprise.  The “delights” in the name represent J Dilla’s two daughters he left behind.

The other surprise is that Uncle Herm is a master sweets chef. He’s been baking for decades and when the idea came up for a doughnut shop, Uncle Herm rode a bicycle around Portland, Oregon researching every funky, contemporary gourmet doughnut shop that are popular in the Northwest.

Uncle Herm came up with doughnuts named for Detroit past and present landmarks. We sampled some and they are rich, layered with flavor and delicious. Others -- many others -- apparently agree. The shop has been selling out of donuts all week. 

Dilla’s Delights is at 242 John R in Detroit, located on the ground floor of The Ashley building Downtown. 

About the Author:

Local 4 Defender Shawn Ley is an Emmy award-winning journalist who has been with Local 4 News for more than a decade.