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Clare Cops & Doughnuts Wins Michigan Municipal League 2011 Community Excellence Award
The Cops & Doughnuts Bakery owned and operated by nine Clare police officers won the Michigan Municipal League’s Community Excellence Award on 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.
Clare's entry was a great example of the vital role that entrepreneurship can play not only in a city's economic development, but in helping to create a community image and a true sense of place.
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. The business helps promotes the entire city and its business district, and also supports the community as a whole through charitable donations and sponsorship of many local events. White also praised city officials for allowing the bakery owners' to make the most of their dual identity as city police officers as an integral part of their marketing campaign. What could have been seen by some as a risky move has turned out to be a benefit to both the bakery and the city as a whole.
It's a whole new way for a city to partner with the business community, showing how sometimes the best way to help new entrepreneurs is to just let it happen. The whole concept of fostering entrepreneurship needs to be reimagined, according to Dr. Ernesto Sirolli, a world-renowned expert in nurturing the creative spark of entreneurship. Click here to watch the video of Sirolli's presentation at the League Convention.
Congratulations again, Clare!
According to this Ogemaw County Herald story, West Branch has been working on a major street reconstruction project and has been approved for a DNR matching grant for a river trail project next year, but they've also been making time to put the finishing touches on their presentation for the League's Community Excellence Award during the League's Annual Convention Oct. 5-7 in Grand Rapids.
West Branch won the Region Six award in May for its Fabulous Fridays, and will compete against Southfield's Field Zone Youth Center, Paw Paw's "Uncork Paw Paw" campaign, Ludington's winter Ball Drop celebration, Clare's Cops & Doughnuts bakery, Vassar's Chill on the Hill, and Marquette's waterfront safety initiative.
The CEA presentations are always a major highlight of Convention, when finalists from each of the League's seven regions are recognized for their best and brightest accomplishments. Only one region will walk off with the 2011 CEA. The only way to vote is to be at the Convention. Make sure to support your region finalist this year!
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