Hilliard residents might benefit from the desire of a family-owned business to have greater creative license in the kitchen at Daylight Donuts and Cafe, 5252 Franklin St., in Hilliard's Landmark Lofts.

The cafe is at the northeast corner of Cemetery Road and Franklin Street and upon its opening in September, it was the first retail tenant in Landmark Lofts, a mixed-use development that contains 204 apartments and 14,000 square feet of retail space.

Daylight Donuts and Cafe is owned and operated by sisters Cherie Beirau and Lisa Welches, and Welches' niece, Annette Queen. Other family members also contribute to its daily operations, including Riley Adams, Welches' 24-year-old son who works in the kitchen baking pastries.

"We wanted the opportunity to do something that gave us a little more freedom," said Welches, who assisted Beirau when she was a franchise co-owner of a national chain of doughnut shops. "We were really restricted on what we could do."

The sisters began exploring options and discovered Oklahoma-based Daylight Donut Flour Co.'s licensed retail stores. Welches said Hilliard's shop is not a franchise but described it as a licensing agreement in which the shop purchases Daylight's equipment and proprietary pastry ingredients and mixes but can otherwise independently market and operate the store.

In addition to the doughnuts and pastries made with Daylight ingredients, the cafe makes its own salads, soups and sandwiches, Welches said.

Many of the doughnuts are the same as would be found at other locations but the cafe also can make unique concoctions, including a seasonal eggnog French cruller, Adams said.

The Hilliard location is the only Daylight in central Ohio, according to Welches, but there are others in Ohio, including one in Waverly, in southern Ohio.

Welches, who lives in Grove City, said she and her family scouted other locations, including Grove City, before settling in Hilliard, and the process took about 18 months.

Daylight Donuts and Cafe is open from 5 a.m. to 7 p.m. daily.

Two other retail stores opened in Landmark Lofts after Daylight Donuts: Yabo's Tacos and Renovo Fitness.

The mixed-use development is on the site of a former abandoned grain silo and elevator known as the Landmark Grain Co., from which the development derived its name, and the Starliner Diner restaurant. Planning for Landmark Lofts began early in 2013, and construction started in 2016. Starliner Diner relocated to Old Hilliard before construction began.

John Royer, president of Kohr Royer Griffith, the developer of Landmark Lofts, said service uses, such as a nail salon, are candidates for the remaining retail space.

About 90 percent of the apartments are leased, he said.

kcorvo@thisweeknews.com

@ThisWeekCorvo