Cops Save Struggling Doughnut Shop

Police force embraces old stereotype and saves local business.

ByABC News via logo
July 23, 2009, 3:11 PM

July 25, 2009— -- On McEwan Street in downtown Clare, Mich., a half-dozen stores have recently closed their doors. The state's slumping economy has hit businesses hard in this town of 3,000.

City Bakery, the local doughnut shop, was set to be the latest casualty. The owner planned to shutter the shop after 113 years in business. But at the last minute, a group of loyal customers stepped in to save the place: The Clare Police Department.

You've heard the one about cops and doughnut shops, right? Well, this is no joke.

"All the members of the department were approached about it," said Brian Gregory, an officer with the department. "[It] took us about 10 minutes to make the decision that we want to keep it going, and let's buy it."

All nine of the town's officers pooled their money, wrote out a business plan on the back of a pizza box, and decided to try their hand at the doughnut business. They've changed the name of the bakery to "Cops & Doughnuts."

"Probably without all nine of us being involved, it wouldn't have been possible, so it really took the strength of everybody in the department, the commitment of everybody, to get involved," said Officer Greg Kolhoff.

Now, when the officers aren't fighting crime ... they're serving long johns and fritters.

"On days off, we're not home ... we're here," said officer John Pedjac. "We're having so much fun with it, you know."

Customers are having fun with it, too. They're lining up from all over the state and all over the country. Many are amused and impressed by the change in ownership.

"That the police would take their time and money and invest in a local business so that they could stay here instead of going under -- I think that's pretty cool," said customer Carol Chiolino.