Cops and doughnuts have always been an iconic pair, but members of the Clare Police Department in Michigan have taken the relationship to a whole new level. When a local doughnut shop and bakery was on the brink of closing its doors in the summer of 2009, all nine team members from the department stepped in to save it.
In constant operation since 1896, Cops & Doughnuts in Clare, Michigan, is among the oldest bakeries in the United States. "Bakeries were the center of each downtown," said Greg "Ryno" Rynearson, now president and owner of Cops & Doughnuts. "Several other downtown businesses had closed, and more were going to be closing by summer's end."
After learning in late May 2009 that Clare City Bakery would close on July 1 that year, all nine members of the Clare Police Department pooled the money to save its legacy. They dubbed it Cops & Doughnuts.
Each put $1,500 down for a one-year lease, with an option to buy at the end—which they did. Cops & Doughnuts is not the only bakery the police officers have saved, either. They also purchased the McDonald's Bakery in Ludington, Michigan, to keep it from closing and reopened both the Sutherland Bakery in Bay City, Michigan, and the Dainty Maid Bake Shop in South Bend, Indiana.
"We are real cops selling real doughnuts," Ryno said. "We are a true original American bakery."
And that might be why Cops & Doughnuts is so popular. The doughnut shop and bakery welcomed approximately 40 tour buses in 2016 and another 70 in 2017. The business boasts handmade goods of all types, including warm fresh doughnuts, homemade bread and steaming cups of coffee.
"We are most known for our Bacon Squealer," Ryno said—a doughnut with maple frosting and two strips of bacon on top. Ryno notes their best seller, however, is a Long John filled with custard and topped with chocolate frosting.
For a twist on the classic Long John, Ryno suggests the Driftwood. Filled with coconut cream, spread with chocolate ganache and sprinkled with toasted coconut, the doughnut was developed on the Cooking Channel program Donut Showdown, with the shop's two employees winning $10,000 for their confection.
The cops are continuing to keep bakeries safe, one doughnut—and one doughnut shop—at a time.
Written by Cassie Westrate, staff writer for Groups Today.
Photo Courtesy of Cops & Doughnuts.