Saving Dilla's Delights Donut Shop

Preserving the legacy of J. Dilla and finding a new home for Dilla's Delights donut shop .

Hi, my name is Herman Hayes. Some people affectionately call me Uncle Herm - I am the uncle of 20 nieces and nephews, including James DeWitt Yancey, aka J. Dilla. It was in his honor that I opened Dilla's Delights, a donut shop in downtown Detroit honoring the legacy of my nephew, an homage to the last record he made during his lifetime.

We need your help. The cost of transporting product, insurance, rent, and permits for both retail and production locations has taken a toll on our ability to eke out a profit. We are in negotiations with properties for a larger space to produce and sell our donuts and merchandise with room for seating and a museum. One potential site comes with enormous historic magnitude. We hope to acquire grants, partners, and/or investors to present a Dilla's Delights that truly defines a historical landmark and Detroit tourist attraction.

I recently battled cancer and I'm currently recovering. Due to my recent surgery, we reduced our hours and closed the shop for more than a month. Some of the immediate contributions I hope to receive here will help with accounts receivable that are behind or past due. We are an independent entity and do not receive funds or assistance from any other entity which bears the name J Dilla or James Yancey.

This is why we reach out to our loving and supportive community to keep this dream and project on a forward-moving path. We are forever grateful for all the generous contributions in the past, present, and future. We would not be here without the “fantastic” support of our family and friends worldwide.

The original equipment and start-up expenses for the shop came from my personal savings, the Veterans Affairs Vocational Rehabilitation and Employment program, a $5,000 Kiva Zip loan (with a much later $10,000 Kiva crowdfunded loan), and the gracious help from family and several close friends.

The goal of $15,000 will update, repair, and replace equipment used heavily for four years. It will help acquire wholesale vendor contracts, and upgrade to sustainable merchandise. It will aid in our search for a future home, provide project renderings, and secure the legal aid needed to move forward with ease.

(pictured below, from L to R: Paige, Madlib, Ja'mya, Herman Hayes)
The “Delights” in Dilla's Delights represents his two daughters, Ja'mya and Paige. We feel by knowing the man’s temperament and compassion, his daughters were the delights of his life. And yes, by far even surpassing his love for creating music. These young ladies are the main beneficiaries in the success of the business. Our goal is to set these heirs for business prosperity, bring a positive outlook to their dad’s legacy, and host an enjoyable sphere in the city J Dilla loved and called home.

Thank you,
Uncle Herm
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Herman Hayes 
Detroit, MI
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