TOPEKA, Kan. – Topeka’s Paradise Donuts shop, at 1620 S.W. 6th Ave., is changing hands.
Keith Berry Sr., who opened Paradise Donuts in 2016, posted the news to the shop’s Facebook page Saturday morning, announcing that after almost five years as owner he has sold the local establishment.
In an interview with The Topeka Capital-Journal, Berry said it was a bittersweet moment for him. But selling the shop, he added, has been on his mind for several months.
“I’ve been at it for five years, and with the hours that I work here, I just haven’t had a lot of time to spend with my family,” he said. “It was a very hard decision for me to make.”
Berry said he started kicking around the idea of selling in September or October of last year. Shortly after, a friend of his showed interest, and the pair came to an agreement that would put the shop in new hands.
Berry’s last day as owner of Paradise Donuts was Saturday, and the new owner, Mike Babb, is expected to take over on Sunday.
Paradise Donuts will be closed from Feb. 14 to early March, as Babb prepares to officially take over.
“He’s got some things that he wants to do to prepare,” Berry said, “so he’ll keep the doors closed until March 2. He’ll reopen then.”
Berry expects the donut products Topekans have come to know and love to stay the same, and the shop’s current team of employees will also be staying on.
“It’s a bittersweet moment for me,” he said. “I’m second guessing it because it’s been a great five years. We struggled early, but things have really turned around. I’ve got a great customer base, and I’m really going to miss them because they’ve showed a lot of support.”
Babb, who also owns Flint Hills Smokehouse in Maple Hill, didn’t immediately return a call from The Capital-Journal on Saturday morning regarding his plans.
Since Berry and Babb are good friends, Berry said he expects to still be involved with the shop moving forward.
“I’m going to be helping him along with some things and still kind of popping in and out,” Berry said. “It is going to be a team effort throughout. This has been my baby. I can’t just walk away completely.”
Paradise Donuts is an Oklahoma-based chain of independently owned franchises. There are about 20 Paradise Donut locations across the country.