The Cops & Doughnuts bakery owned and operated by nine Clare police officers won the Michigan Municipal League’s Community Excellence Award Friday, October 7, 2011 at the League’s Annual Convention in Grand Rapids, where finalists from the state’s seven regions competed for the coveted title. The CEA program, also called “The Race for the Cup,” was started by the League in 2007 to recognize innovative solutions taking place in Michigan’s cities, villages and urban townships. The winning project is determined by popular vote among all Convention attendees, which this year included more than 400 public officials and guests from across the state.
League members attending the 2011 Convention said picking a winner was especially difficult this year because all the presentations were so outstanding. Clare’s program in particular showed how a small group of people can make a big difference in a community. The historic Clare City Bakery in downtown Clare was going to close and virtually in the 11th hour, the nine Clare police officers decided to pool their own funds to purchase it. Not only did they save the bakery, but they turned it into a tourist destination that has benefitted the entire community.
Clare Police Officer Al White said the Cops & Doughnuts bakery has received nationwide media coverage and accolades since the group of police officers took ownership nearly two years ago. Their goal is to promote the entire city and its business district, said White, and also to support the community as a whole through the bakery’s charitable donations and sponsorship of many local events.
The League’s Region 4 covers the central part of the state and includes the counties of Arenac, Bay, Clare, Clinton, Baldwin, Gratiot, Isabella, Midland, Saginaw and Shiawassee. The finalists from the other six regions were Ludington, West Branch, Southfield, Marquette, Paw Paw, and Vassar.