Clare City Bakery
If a person has never visited a real, made from scratch bakery, they owe it to themselves to try it out. Nestled in heart of Michigan’s Lower Peninsula is the establishment that was once known as the Clare City Bakery and is now widely known as Cops and Doughnuts. Established as a scratch bakery in July, 1896 the Clare City Bakery has been a main stay of down town Clare. After 113 years and 5 ownerships, it appeared that the bakery was on its way out. That’s when the current owners of Cops and Doughnuts bought the business. And who could get away with naming a bakery Cops and Doughnuts after the age old joke? Only one group of people, police officers themselves. That’s right, Cops & Doughnuts is owned entirely by local police officers.
Cops is Local
One thing that we at Dine Michigan love is when the places we review use Michigan based products. From the boxes they use for carry out orders, to the fantastic coffee that is now sold in many locations, Cops is dedicated to using local Michigan based businesses as much as possible. The maple syrup that is sold in their store front is made from maple trees that grow right there in Clare, County. They sell honey that comes from local bee keepers. The baskets that are for sale by themselves or as stuffed gift baskets are made by local Amish crafters. That coffee? Roasted in Lansing, Michigan. Those boxes? Made by a company in Marysville, Michigan.
How can you go to a bakery that is known for their doughnuts and not get at least one doughnut? Greg brought out something that looked like no other doughnut that I had ever seen. They call it the squealer. A long john doughnut without filling and frosted with a fantastic maple frosting then topped with two strips of bacon. This doughnut is an interesting mix of typical breakfast foods and it comes off wonderfully. The bacon and maple flavored frosting give the doughnut a taste not unlike pancakes with syrup and bacon. It is a wonderful treat.
Cops has Lunch
During many of the festivals in Clare, Cops & Doughnuts began offering pulled pork barbeque sandwiches. Now they are becoming a regular part of their menu. The pork is very fresh and has wonderful smoked flavor with a tangy barbeque sauce that was served on the side. Served on a fresh baked roll (of course the make them fresh every morning) this sandwich was outstanding. On top of the pulled pork sandwich we had today, the bakery is offering a sandwich they call the “Beefy Pork Burger”. Why all the pork? Well you can make up your own joke, but even Greg, one of the owners quipped “Who knows pork better than cops?”
Before we left, we had try the bakery’s award winning Cinnamon Roll. A huge roll made fresh every day. It had a firm glaze on the outside, but was wonderfully gooey on the inside. This roll was baked to perfection. Then there is the freshly made frosting to top things off. Have one of these with a cup of Cops Coffee and it is almost a meal all on its own.
Cops & Doughnuts, A great place to get stopped!
Cops & Doughnuts is a real treat that must be experienced. They say they aren’t pretty (the doughnuts that is!), they just make good doughnuts. I would expand that to say that everything they make is good. I certainly didn’t leave hungry and you won’t either. Bring the entire family as there is something fro everyone and don’t forget to check out the clothing line. Some of the slogans will leave you in stitches. If you are traveling anywhere near Clare, Cops & Doughnuts is well worth your time and if not, well it’s time to travel!