FOX 2 (WJBK) - An iconic Detroit donut brand is being resurrected by a family known for metro area funeral homes.
Dutch Girl Donuts is expected to reopen in early 2024 after being closed for two years thanks to new owners, the Lynch family. The Lynchs have been longtime family friends of the Timmers who founded the business in 1947.
Dutch Girl Donuts closed in 2021 after the passing of both founders, husband and wife team Gene and Lauren Timmer. Earlier this year, the family announced it would sell the entire operation, including the historic building. After considering more than 30 offers, they chose to pass the baton to Paddy Lynch.
Like many fans of Detroit’s famous donut shop on Woodward Avenue and Seven Mile, Lynch was saddened by the closing of the family-owned establishment that had served the area for more than 70 years.
"But thanks to a strong family history and special bond between Lynch’s family and the Timmer family who founded Dutch Girl in 1947, the iconic Detroit brand will live on, reopening under Lynch’s ownership in early 2024," said a news release.
Lynch’s family owns and operates several funeral homes throughout metro Detroit. His grandfather Edward J. Lynch, Jr., the founder of the family firm, started his career on Woodward Avenue in Highland Park in 1948, just one year after the Timmer family opened the donut shop just a few miles north.
"My family has loved Dutch Girl since before I was born," says Lynch, a third-generation funeral director with Lynch & Sons and owner of Detroit’s historic bathhouse The Schvitz. "I’m extremely grateful, honored and excited to carry this local favorite forward for the Timmer family."
In the early 1970s, during the early years of his parent’s courtship, Lynch’s mother lived in the University District while attending Marygrove College. Whenever his father was in the area visiting her, he often stopped in.
"Throughout his childhood, anytime Lynch’s family was in the area, they’d stop by Dutch Girl for a dozen donuts. Before its closing, Lynch, who moved to Detroit’s Arden Park neighborhood in 2011, would often stop by to pick up donuts for his entire staff during his daily commute up Woodward to Lynch & Sons Clawson, which he still operates alongside his dad and other family members," the release said.
The two families share a special bond beyond the donut shop - Paddy’s cousin Tim Lynch, Jr., who manages Lynch & Sons Walled Lake, has known the Timmer family since childhood and handled funeral services for Gene and Lauren.
Before that, he buried Gene’s mother Cecilia - the original Dutch Girl herself. The Timmer family’s familiarity and respect for the Lynches contributed to their decision in selecting Paddy Lynch as the next owner.
Because it was important to the Timmers that the tradition of their family business remain authentic to their parent’s legacy, part of the agreement between Lynch and the Timmer family is that Gene and Lauren’s only son, Jon Timmer, who’s been baking donuts in the family shop for 20 years, will stay on to make the donuts.
"Dutch Girl Donuts is an institution for many Detroiters," says Lynch. "I’m looking forward to this journey and to working with Jon Timmer to get Dutch Girl up and running in the early new year."