“Without Doozie’s there would be darkness and chaos.”
This shop-specific version of American Olympian and author Don Kardong’s statement, “Without ice cream there would be darkness and chaos,” adorns the front of Doozie’s Ice Cream Place in Mt. Pleasant. During a summer where many of the season’s go-to activities have no longer been accessible due to required compliance with health protocols, Clyde Dosenberry, owner and eponym of Doozie’s, has made sure the Mt. Pleasant community can still come and get an iconic summer treat.
Ordering at Doozie’s has taken to over-the-phone ordering since COVID-19 hit Mt. Pleasant. Employees walk up to car windows to collect payment and deliver product, all the while masked and gloved.
Should you stop by Doozie’s yet this summer, you’ll get a different experience than you’re used to. Instead of the regular ordering scheme where one approaches the window and turns with ice cream in hand to find a picnic table to sit at on the establishment’s property, you’ll have to remain in your vehicle at one of the shop’s parking spaces. Following a quick call to the number on the sign in front of you, your order will be in motion and your sweet treat will soon find its way to you by means of one of Doozie’s ice cream runners.
Kage Butcher, 49, of Midland, stopped by Doozie’s on Aug. 30 with a car full of three children and two dogs after dropping off one of his daughters at Central Michigan University. Jenna Butcher, 15, sat in the driver’s seat, prepared to treat herself to a “Mystery Mistake” after logging driving hours.
Olivia Rose Geisthardt, 17, of Mount Pleasant, prepares an order Aug. 30 at Doozie’s Ice Cream Place. Geisthardt has been working at Doozie’s for about three months and first remembers going to the ice cream shop at age four.
“It’s good if you don’t know what you want,” Jenna says. Her favorite Mystery Mistake was a fruit-flavored milkshake she was given.
Dosenberry echoed Jenna’s sentiment, saying people often approach the order window without an idea of what to purchase.
“It’s a thing we started 20, 25 years ago. When we hire new people, we go through a training session. The only way you can do that is to get your hands on [the product,]” Dosenberry says. “A lot of times you have it completed and what are you going to do with it, right? So, we just put it in the freezer. We have a lot of people that come in and all they ever get is a Mystery Mistake.”
A former creator of Mystery Mistakes, Mt. Pleasant resident Olivia Rose Geisthardt, 17, works inside the shop, helping create the local delicacies she remembers from her childhood.
“[Doozie’s] is a business I’ve known my whole life. I’ve always wanted to work here,” Geisthardt says. “I used to come here all the time with my parents and the girls were all super nice and Mr. Doozie was always super nice.”
Now, three months into her employment at the shop, Geisthardt is providing others with the fond memories she holds.
Penny Wimer patiently awaits a Dog Dish Aug. 30 at Doozie’s Ice Cream Place. Penny’s mother, Stephanie Wimer, 35, of Mt. Pleasant, said she frequents Doozie’s as a treat for her dog after a successful bath. Her children experience something similar. “If there’s a chore the kids don’t particularly want to do, I’ll bribe them with ice cream,” Wimer says, laughing.
Once a newcomer to the service industry as well, Dosenberry has now provided 36 years of memories to local families. Originally an educator in Mt. Pleasant, Dosenberry taught for 32 years before the education system hit financial hardships in the 1980’s. Fearing being laid off, Dosenberry decided to look into business opportunities.
“At the time when I was teaching, part of the idea I had was that you’re not teaching in the summer time. So, I could run this from May to September and then go back to teaching,” Dosenberry says. Eventually, the establishment meant to hold Dosenberry above water financially became his passion.
The best part of the job?
“The interaction with the young people who work here and the customers; I enjoy talking to customers and people who come in” Dosenberry says. “When we were serving at our window, you know, it was face to face and it was better, more enjoyable interaction, but being on the phone with them is alright.”
Doozie’s Ice Cream Place is located at 1310 East Pickard St. and is open seven days a week from 3-9 p.m.