Byrd’s Donuts to celebrate anniversary Saturday in Elkins
ELKINS — Byrd’s House of Donuts will celebrate its fifth anniversary in business Saturday.
It was just by chance that Tommy Byrd and his son Thomas opened the establishment in 2016.
“Opening up was almost by accident,” Tommy Byrd told The Inter-Mountain Thursday. “Before we opened there were two or three different donut places in the (area). Then one day I was coming back into town from a business trip and noticed that it was for rent. So I called up and thought, what the heck? I took the last few bucks I had and we opened the donut shop.”
Byrd’s original location was in a strip mall type of structure on the Beverly Five-Lane across from Glotfelty Tire. The father-son duo spent close to nine months there before moving in 2017 to the current downtown site, across from Davis Trust Bank on Davis Avenue.
“It was a good move for us. There was more traffic up there, but we have more people coming in our downtown location,” Tommy Byrd said. “We’ve been at this spot ever since.”
Tommy Byrd recalls how he and Thomas, both who had no experience in the restaurant business went through many trials and tribulations early on in their venture.
“We had never made a donut in our life before we opened,” he said. “There was a guy who used to work at an area donut shop and he came in and worked with us for a couple of days and gave us a crash course.
“From there we kind of expanded on our own. There’s a lot of things that we do that a lot of donut shops don’t because we didn’t know any better that you couldn’t do this or that, so we tried it and if it worked we kept doing it, and if it didn’t we dumped it.”
Tommy Byrd said he and his son sometimes had to dump up to 40 dozen donuts per day because they weren’t fit to sell. He said that once they started getting the process right, they began handing donuts out for free to get the word out about their product.
And once the word got out, business started to pick up, to the point that the duo was working night and day.
“In the beginning we thought that it would maybe be enough to keep Thomas busy and I could help on the side,” he recalled. “But it wasn’t just a few months and I had to quit my job and both of us were working full time. In the beginning we were probably working 18 to 19 hours a day, seven days per week.”
Other than the 34 different types of donuts Byrd’s offers, they also have cakes, pies, sweet rolls, cannolis and cookies.
“They go really fast and they are almost as popular as our donuts,” he said. “We only make them regularly one day a week and it’s hard to get in here in time to get them because they’re gone shortly after we get them out.”
Byrd’s also offered seasonal donuts, including pumpkin cake and pumpkin-filled, on the menu.
And if you’re not into sweets, Byrd’s also offers hot dogs, sandwiches, breakfast biscuits, and pepperoni rolls, which Tommy Byrd said won a blue ribbon award in a contest at WVU a couple years ago.
“Everything we make here is from scratch, we don’t open a box and add water to something,” he said. “You never know what we will make from one day to the next, it just rotates.”
During Saturday’s anniversary celebration, Byrd’s will be offering half-price donuts all day long. Customers have a chance to win t-shirts, hats and one of five $50 gift cards. One customer will also have a chance of winning a free dozen donuts each week for one year.