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Building a Vibrant Community — Community Investment

In this series of articles about Community Investment, Tommy and Thomas Byrd, owners of Byrd’s House of Donuts, answer the question, “Why did you invest in Elkins and why do you continue to invest?”

We’ve always wanted to own a business and in 2016 that opportunity presented itself with a ready-made donut shop. The thing is, neither one of us had ever made a donut! But the shop was set up, the equipment was there, and we were ready to take the opportunity we saw in front of us. So, Byrd’s House of Donuts was born in a rented space on the Beverly Pike/5-lane.

We love this area — the mountains and the small town — and we knew a donut shop would do well. Quality and cleanliness were standard from day one. Donuts are crowd pleasers; they’re comfort food. Elkins is a great place with friendly people. Soon, however, we needed a different space for our donut shop.

We recognized Davis Avenue in Downtown Elkins as a major thoroughfare. A location on Davis became available that was clean and already set up as a restaurant. It just needed a little work, a little love, and a little paint. So, with a bit of luck and a lot of hard work, Byrd’s House of Donuts reopened at 224 Davis Avenue in June of 2017.

A year or so later, the building’s owner asked if we wanted to purchase the building. This meant we would not only own our business, but we would become downtown property owners as well. Thanks to the previous owner, Linda Barry, and Citizens Bank, we now own both the building and the business. It’s a great feeling to know we play a part in the economy of Elkins, and we are thankful to everyone who went out of their way to make it happen.

Business is going well and keeps growing each year. We started out working 18-hour shifts — just the two of us — until the business was established. But in the last four years, we’ve created a team of employees who we trust and who care about the business. And we’d like to expand to other local communities. Customers come from both near and far for homemade donuts. It’s their enthusiasm and support that will help us grow. We appreciate that kind of loyalty and commitment from our regulars as well as visitors who come by chance and come back by choice! We also appreciate the comradery of our neighboring businesses who support us not only by buying donuts for their offices/shops, but who also support us as a downtown partner.

Would we do it all over again? Most definitely! Maybe we could make more money working for someone else, but being our own boss, making our own decisions, and investing in the communitis worth more. We enjoy our life now!

Byrd’s House of Donuts is a perfect example of continuing to invest in the community of Elkins to ensure a vibrant future. What impact investment will you make?

Compliments of Tygart Valley Orthopedics, the Elkins-Randolph County Chamber has free copies of “Building A Vibrant Community” available to those who are interested. Call 304-636-2717 to get a copy of the book, or, better yet, to join the Vibrant Community movement.

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