Aug. 6—During his 30-year career as a police officer and detective, Kurt Nebe had plenty of opportunities to deal with people.
So Nebe feels very comfortable and confident as he interacts with customers who come into the new business he and his wife just opened in June.
Nebe admits that serving customers at Maggie's Doughnuts Featured at Fat Cop Donut and Coffee Shop is much more pleasant than responding to calls as a police officer.
"With this business, people are coming in for a happy reason," Nebe said. "They want doughnuts and maybe a coffee. In my other career, I was always going to where something bad was happening. It's a great change."
Nebe and his wife, Lori Nebe, launched Maggie's Doughnuts Featured at Fat Cop Donut and Coffee Shop on June 21. The business is based at 6661 North Ridge Road, in a small strip plaza that borders Hubbard Road.
"We looked at a couple different locations for the shop," he said. "But this one just stood out because of the vehicle traffic, and the ease of ingress and egress to the parking lot."
Customers of the doughnut and coffee shop also have access to ample parking spaces until about 10:30 a.m. every day, when other businesses in the plaza start to open.
"So on your way to work, stop in and grab a doughnut, grab a coffee and off you go," Nebe said. "We don't have a drive-thru, but it's in and out, pretty quick."
The major attraction at Fat Cop Donut and Coffee Shop is Maggie's Doughnuts, which have been produced using an original recipe and sold throughout Northeast Ohio for 63 years.
Along with being spotlighted at Fat Cop Donut and Coffee Shop in Madison Township, Maggie's Doughnuts also are sold at two stores in Middlefield and one each in Chardon, Hiram and Orwell.
Nebe decided to launch a business venture focusing on the beloved doughnut brand after talking with his friend Bill Poole, who is the longtime owner of Maggie's Doughnuts.
"It just seemed like a good fit," he said. "My wife Lori's dream is to open a bistro, but this (a doughnut and coffee shop) was kind of close enough for right now."
The doughnuts sold at Kurt and Lori's shop in Madison Township are made fresh daily at a Maggie's location in Middlefield. Nebe said the doughnuts are delivered between 2 and 6 a.m.
Maggie's Doughnuts Featured at Fat Cop Donut and Coffee Shop is open 6 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Tuesday through Friday and 7 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. Saturday.
"All Maggie's Doughnuts are closed on Monday, because they don't cook on Sunday nights," he noted.
Nebe said he'd like to open Maggie's Doughnuts Featured at Fat Cop Donut and Coffee Shop on Sundays. But first, he needs to hire more employees.
Since the shop was established in late June, Lori has worked alongside her husband, but she'll soon be returning to her full-time position as a high-school teacher. Nebe also has gotten assistance at the store from his 12-year-old granddaughter, Peyton Nebe, who's getting ready to head back to school.
Over the past month and a half, Nebe said the new shop has sold as many as 62 dozen Maggie's Doughnuts and related foods on extremely busy days. On average days, the shop typically sells about 40 dozen of those items.
The shop offers an array of glazed, powdered and jelly doughnuts, along with popular specialty items such as glazed croissants, chocolate cream sticks and apple fritters.
Kurt and Lori also bought an espresso machine made in Italy that they use at the shop.
"We offer a French-press espresso," Nebe said. "We probably have a dozen different flavors of espresso, ranging from mocha down to toasted marshmallow and toasted coconut, white chocolate, raspberry and peach mango."
The shop also serves a variety of iced and hot coffee and tea specialty drinks.
Before he retired, Nebe worked as a police officer in Cleveland Heights and Orange Village. He said the transition from law enforcement to running a storefront business has been smooth and satisfying.
"Just selling the doughnuts, having the people coming in, that's great — it's everything I expected. " he said. "The behind the scenes, building the shop, and the permits and the ordering and the taxes, it's a lot of work, but it's good work. It keeps my mind sharp."
Nebe said the space that he and Lori are renting required extensive renovation before it was ready to unveil as Maggie's Doughnuts Featured at Fat Cop Donut and Coffee Shop.
"It took a lot of interior work," he said. "We wanted the aesthetics to pop when you walk in. Like a cozy, homey atmosphere. We get a lot of compliments when people come in. People are saying this place is so cute, it's so nice, and we're proud of that."
Kurt and Lori, who live in Perry Township, agree that neighboring Madison Township so far has proven to be a great place to operate a doughnut and coffee shop.
"We like the people and the community, we like our location and we like the atmosphere," Nebe said. "It's a small-business heaven, so to speak."