Central Michigan Life – Q&A: Clyde Dosenberry tells story of Doozie’s Ice Cream Place, Mount Pleasant appreciation

Doozie’s Ice Cream Place has long been a Mount Pleasant staple and the man behind the counter, Clyde Dosenberry, is something of a local celebrity. Not only is he the owner of Doozie’s, but he himself built the shop in 1985 and has been running it ever since.

Growing up on a small dairy farm in Barryton, Michigan, Dosenberry has spent most of her life in the area. He graduated from Barryton High School and then went into teaching for nearly 30 years. When Michigan State was in financial trouble about 10 years into his career, Dosenberry wanted to have a backup plan in case he was laid off from teaching.

As a licensed builder, Dosenberry decided to build their own ice cream shop to combat this possibility.

Dosenberry is an active member of the Mount Pleasant community. He partners with local sports teams and supports local schools.

Central Michigan Life sat down with Dosenberry to learn more about his love for Mount Pleasant and his most memorable experiences running the ice cream shop at 1310 E Pickard Rd.

Central Michigan Life: What does the Mount Pleasant area mean to you?

I’ve been in this all my life except for four years when I was in the Air Force when I went to Turkey, Germany, Saudi Arabia, Greece, Italy, and France. When I was going there, I was hitchhiking from Turkey to Detroit by plane. It took me 36 hours to get home, covering 9,000 miles.

What do few people know about you?

I was a licensed builder, which is why I built Doozie’s. I have rental houses that I work with during the winter, doing repairs there. I love working with wood and I love cars. I’m a bit of a car freak, I have four or five vehicles.

I taught for 32 years. After teaching for about 10 years, the state had financial problems with the schools and I was the bottom of the seniority totem, and I thought I was going to be released from teaching…I was looking for something else to do and i looked at several things but the ice cream thing bounced off so i built the ice cream shop.

How do you tell the story of how Doozie’s was built?

When I originally built Doozie’s, I thought about building it and running it after two or three years and then selling it for a profit. But after about three years I decided I liked doing it and I could see where it might be a bit more profitable, so I hung on.

What do you enjoy most about owning an ice cream shop in Mount Pleasant?

I think I get the most pleasure from meeting a lot of people who come for ice cream and working with a lot of young people. I was very lucky with a lot of young people who worked there.

What do you like to do in your free time?

I usually do putzing on rentals, woodworking (and) do a bit of travel. About a month ago… I did a little road trip in Oklahoma (and) New Mexico. (I’ve done) 3800 miles, mostly driving on the roads, stopping to see things on Route 66 and some of the different towns. Being a former farm boy, I like to see some of the farming things you see that way. The tractor dealerships and the different equipment you see in this area versus here, and the scenery.

Oh, and the number of windmills in Texas begging. They have 10 times more than us here. You’ll find a field of them, and they’ll be three, four hundred.

What is your favorite thing about Mount Pleasant?

Having taught here and spent most of my life here, I love the people I know and I love going to restaurants. We have a pretty good variety of restaurants here compared to other cities. I’m just enjoying life here.

Do you have a lot of student business from Central Michigan University?

I think we have quite a few, yeah… It’s kind of interesting because in the spring when we open while the CMU students are here, I’d say our business is probably 50-60% CMU students. The locals tend to stay away as it seems that the CMU students are willing to queue longer than the locals. But once the center is out, in summer, it is then 70 to 80% of the local population.

How is the reopening going for the season? What are the things you need to do to prepare?

We have to order all our stuff. We must clean, sanitize and reassemble all ice cream machines. We have to organize all of this. For arctic swirls, we need all the different toppings. We have to clean the place after sitting during the winter and check the water pipes to make sure nothing has frozen over the winter. We have to clean up the outside, the garbage and everything…and hire staff, including training new people.

What’s your favorite thing to buy at Doozie’s?

I think we have a really good vanilla soft serve ice cream. I really like the flavor, the texture, the freshness. For hard ice cream, I like Buttered Pecans or Moose Tracks.

What would you recommend people buy at Doozie’s?

Arctic whirlpools. We have 93 flavors. I would say the arctic gyres are probably 40-50% of our activity. The two flavors that make up half or maybe more (of those orders) are Chocolate Chip Cookie Dough and Reese’s Peanut Butter Cup.

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