First Note: This post was scheduled for yesterday, Friday July 20. When I woke up and saw the news surrounding the tragic events in Colorado, I pulled the piece. Given the carnage that law enforcement, trauma centers, and families were dealing with, it seemed highly inappropriate. I’m not sure today is really better, but when I re-read this post, I saw that it celebrated law enforcement, family, and hope – so I published it today. I hope you read it in that spirit.
Second Note: Please, please, please – if you are a member of the law enforcement community – do not attack me for mentioning your chosen profession and baked goods in the same breath. I love cops. I was once madly (and sadly – he was not good for me) in love with a policeman. He was guilty of felony heartbreak. I admire and support the brave men and women who serve their communities in that career. I do love doughnuts (also, sadly – they are not good for me) although our relationship has lasted considerably longer than the one with the cop. They are always there for me (as in by my side, on my hips, in my arteries).
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Michigan, especially in the summer time, is a very lovely place. While its economy may be struggling, and its population dwindling, its citizens are resourceful, resilient, and stalwart. If you need reasons to enjoy a Michigan adventure, check out this post by Pithypants, as well as this post.
On a recent visit to Michigan, I met the lovely Peg-o-Leg. It was determined during that brief interlude, somehow, that calories consumed in Michigan do not count. I believe the precise formula is something like this “Expenditures made to support the economy result in the automatic removal of calories and saturated fat”. Or some such. I returned from my whirlwind trip over the 4th with a considerably lighter wallet and pants that would barely button. So perhaps that theory is slightly flawed. Whatever.
We spent a couple of days with all five grandchildren at our campground. On the trip to return them (sunburned and bug-bitten) to their parents – we stopped in Clare, Michigan, at the Cops and Doughnuts Bakery. This magical place is part museum, part bakery, part retail establishment and pure blood-glucose-raising fun.
When the century-old bakery was in within weeks of going under, the Clare police force (all 9 members) pooled their resources and purchased the enterprise. They opened Cops and Doughnuts Bakery in 2009 and business has been expanding as rapidly as the waistlines of the multitudes of tourists who flock there for the baked goods, but stay for the fun. Some of their merchandising slogans include” DWI (Doughnuts Were Involved), Cereal Killer, and Cuffed and Stuffed.
They have their own “Cops Coffee” brand of coffee, merchandise of every kind from coffee mugs to baby clothing, and have even opened the “Traffic Stop Diner” in their third expansion just this year. Menu items include “Stool Pigeon Sandwich” (chicken salad), “Sticky Situation Sandwich” (peanut butter, shredded carrots, sunflower nuts, raisins and honey), “Misdemeanor Weiner” and “Undercover Misdemeanor Weiner” (coney style), and “Grounds for Investigation Sandwich” (ground bologna) – as well as “Electric Chair Fries” and “Cold Case Slaw”.
The business has been showcased in several national news features. They were designated one of Michigan’s “50 Businesses to Watch” in 2011. They now employ 28 employees (none are family members of the police-owners and in a small town like Clare, that is impressive) and are going to 24/7 operations this year.
The real draw, of the place, though is the bakery. The aroma hits you from the street – yeasty, cinnamon-y, delightful aroma. I did not get any good shots of the display rack as there were many, many people lined up its entire length and I was trying to corral 5 grandkids and one testy grandpa with low-blood sugar, but believe me when I say it is a feast for the eyes. Racks of freshly baked, handmade cinnamon and pecan rolls. Rows and rows of doughnuts, turnovers, and pastries of every size and shape. The cinnamon rolls and pecan rolls are roughly the size of a salad plate ($2.79) and are easily the best baked goods I have ever tasted (including my own).
I applaud the Clare Policemen who rescued this gem and their business acumen, as well as their ability to laugh at and with the stereotypes inherent in such a venture. It is a reminder that law enforcement does much more than
lie in wait for me in speed traps serve and protect, they support their communities in a multitude of untold ways. I wish them continued and rampant success.
As proper grandparents, Sweet-Cheeks and I spoiled them and loaded them up with sugar prior to giving them back to their parents. I will leave you with these pictures – snapped during the feeding frenzy that punctuated a family adventure that included lots of hugs, a few tears, and sweetly-frosted memories…