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Daylight Donuts is up for sale again, as owners say finding help was 'big challenge'

Owner Rob Nicholson pointed to family matters and the impact COVID-19 has had on finding workers as major factors that led he and his wife to list the business.

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Daylight Donuts was recently listed on the market for $295,000, as the owners say they are ready to go a different direction. (Matt Gade / Mitchell Republic)
Matt Gade
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A longtime Mitchell doughnut shop has hit the market again.

Daylight Donuts, a breakfast staple that’s been in business since 1954, was recently listed for $295,000 . Owners Rob and Allison Nicholson decided they are selling the doughnut shop that sits along the north side of Mitchell’s Main Street.

“It’s a turn-key business that has great profit margins and a strong base of customers,” Rob said. “God blessed us with the opportunity, but things changed in our personal lives that we need more time for.”

The Nicholson couple purchased Daylight Donuts in 2019 . While Rob said business has been “doing very well,” he pointed to family matters and the impact of COVID-19 on the local workforce as major factors to sell.

“Through the pandemic, things slowed down for about three months, but it picked back up real fast. Things have been getting so busy again, and we had to hire more help,” he said.

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However, hiring help to keep up with the demand has been a “big challenge” for the Nicholsons.

Finding reliable staff amid the pandemic is not a problem that’s unique to Daylight Donuts. A growing number of businesses in the area have been forced to adjust hours of operation due to the worker shortage that has intensified.

“It’s not any secret that it is hard to find good help right now,” he said. “We had a help wanted advertisement out for two to three months, and the amount of people who would apply and not show up for the interview was baffling.”

While the young couple has been successfully keeping the business humming along over the past two years, Rob said the long nights spent baking doughnuts to stock the shelves for the morning breakfast customers can be demanding with young kids to raise.

According to Cindy Hockett, the realtor who listed the business, the building does not come with the purchase. The 900 N. Main St. building is owned by the Rew family, who serve as the landlords of the property. Hockett said the lease structure would remain in place as it’s been for decades.

“There is no franchise agreement. All it is the supply agreement to get the flour mix,” Hockett said. “It’s not uncommon to see business-only sales like this. A lot of people think it is a franchise, but it is not.”

As Rob put it, the groundwork is laid out nicely for an aspiring business owner to come in and keep the doughnut shop running. The business purchase comes with all of the equipment used to make the doughnuts and baked goods, along with the Daylight Donut flour: the secret ingredient that’s helped the doughnuts become a local favorite for many.

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In addition, the Nicholsons would offer new owners a one-month training period to make for a “smooth” transition.

“You don’t pay any franchise fees, so your profit is yours to keep,” Rob said. “You use the Daylight Donuts name, and it is a super sweet deal in that regard.”

Related Topics: REAL ESTATE
Sam Fosness joined the Mitchell Republic in May 2018. He was raised in Mitchell, S.D., and graduated from Mitchell High School. He continued his education at the University of South Dakota in Vermillion, where he graduated in 2020 with a bachelor’s degree in journalism and a minor in English. During his time in college, Fosness worked as a news and sports reporter for The Volante newspaper.
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