Dam Donuts to open in Bellefonte

It’s been 15 years since Traci Beck decided she wanted to open a doughnut shop.

It’s also now or never, she said.

Beck plans to open Dam Donuts in May in downtown Bellefonte where Subway used to operate. The 1,095-square-foot space at 216 W. High St. will be where she plans to live out her dream.

“I have always wanted to have a bakery or a coffee shop, and this is both,” Beck said. “I love serving people and baking, and specifically I enjoy baking doughnuts. I’m really excited to make people happy. It will be a wonderful time for me. We’ve been trying to do this for a long time.”

Dam Donuts, named after the dam in Howard Township where Beck grew up, had to be in the right place.

“I’ve always felt ready to take the jump,” Beck said. “We needed things to come together the right way. It was partly financial. We didn’t have the money 15 years ago, and banks aren’t just going to back you if you don’t have the money saved up. My husband got a promotion, and for about the last year we felt comfortable because everything seemed to go right. We’ve prayed about it a lot.”

Beck, whose last day as a mail carrier is near, said it’s also the right time to take a risk.

“I’m ready, and I’m excited and I’m scared, too,” she said. “I decided I’d rather take a chance and know how it turns out rather than never take a chance and wonder what I could have done. I’m on board for everything, but I believe it will be successful.”

Word of mouth at work and along her route recently began to spread.

“Everyone is very excited for her, and we’re looking forward to trying her doughnuts,” Bellefonte Keystone Community Development Coordinator Vana Dainty said. “We’ve been very impressed with how detailed she is. She had her sign design approved by HARB today. It’s another business in Bellefonte, and it’s a different kind of business, so we’re excited because of that, too.”

The excitement from those who know about her plans doesn’t surprise Beck.

“Well, who doesn’t like doughnuts?” Beck said. “I hope they like ours.”

Shawn Annarelli: 814-235-3928, @Shawn_Annarelli