Karns couple starts doughnut frenzy at Beaver’s Dough-Joe

Tracy Haun OwensFeature, Karns/Hardin Valley

There was no such thing as a “soft opening” for Beaver’s Dough-Joe in Karns. Ryan and Mellisa Wells opened the doughnut and coffee shop in the old Archer’s BBQ spot on Oak Ridge Highway the last weekend of November and immediately began selling out of 3,000 to 5,000 doughnuts a day.

The Wellses managed the scramble for sweets by making more product, getting some quick extra help (while looking to staff up long term) and posting inventory updates to social media. Ryan Wells is delighted by the response to Beaver’s Dough-Joe, which reaffirms his belief that Karns was ready for a great doughnut.

“I’ve wanted to do this a long time,” Wells says. Once he convinced Mellisa with his market research, she was on board, too.

Originally from Cincinnati, Ryan Wells went back to Ohio to shadow bakers at the kind of shop he wanted to establish here. He says the secret to his yeast and cake doughnuts and already-legendary apple fritters is great ingredients.

“If you buy good product, it’s going to show in the results,” he says.

The couple have six children at home (two sons, two daughters and two foster boys) and love raising them in Karns. Mellisa is originally from Maryville, and being close to family is the reason for being in East Tennessee. They plan to be a part of the community for many years to come and are grateful for the welcome their mom-and-pop shop has received.

“I love it here,” Ryan Wells says. “I wish I had moved here a long time ago.”

Beaver’s Dough-Joe is at 7650 Oak Ridge Highway. There’s table and sofa seating inside as well as a drive-through window. The shop also features a small retail section and locally roasted coffee from The Golden Roast. Hours are 6 a.m. to 2 p.m., Tuesday-Sunday.


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