Clare, MI (WJRT ) — Ten years ago nine police officers decided to save their hometown bakery, and today they’re celebrating their sweet success.
“Actually when I told the guys the business plan I said, ‘this might last six months and we’ve thrown our money away, and maybe it’ll go’,” said Greg Rynearson, better known as Ryno. He’s one of the cop-owners, as they call themselves.
To celebrate the important milestone they offered a 10 percent discount for the entire day.
Their journey started when the Clare City Bakery, which opened in 1896, was about to close.
The police officers pooled their money to buy it, and opened on July 1, 2009.
Loyal customer Bill Southwell, who also sells some wooden toys at the shop, loves the old-fashioned recipes.
He thinks their name is one of the reasons they’ve done so well.
“You know the police officers bought the doughnut shop and they kind of used that in their wisdom and said, ‘hey, we’ll take the joke’,” Southwell said.
“The cliche, it just worked out great. We can’t believe that someone didn’t do it before us.” added Rynearson.
Mitzi Rank owned the bakery from 2001 to 2006, before selling it to someone else.
It warms her heart to see someone love the bakery as much as she did.
“It has grown tremendously. We were just the single building, just right in the middle, the original building,” Rank said. “And what they’ve done to it and become multiple bakeries is amazing. We’re so proud of them.”
Along with the Clare headquarters, they have precincts in Bay City, Mt. Pleasant, Lansing, and Gaylord.
Other locations in Ludington, and South Bend, Indiana didn’t work out.
“We’ve made some mistakes along the way. I’m glad we did, because if we wouldn’t have made any mistakes we wouldn’t have done it right,” Rynearson said.
Over the last five years Cops and Doughnuts has averaged 400,000 customers annually in downtown Clare.
Other businesses have benefited too. Rynearson said right now there’s only one empty storefront downtown.
“When people come to Michigan they think of the Mackinac Bridge, Mackinac Island, Frankenmuth, the Henry Ford, Cops and Doughnuts, and the list goes on,” Rynearson said.
To keep up with all the summer visitors, the headquarters in Clare is open 24/7 from Memorial Day to Labor Day.
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