Doodles Ice Cream & Treats is no more, but you can still find its ice cream and popular "Doodley Eyes" inside after owner Jeff Risch decided to bring both shops under one roof.
Risch said a myriad of factors led to the late October move, including increased competition, a continued tough economy and his desire to have one combination store. Both locations are in the Fountain Square Plaza at the corner of Old U.S. 23 and M-59.
"An opportunity came available where someone was interested in that space, so I decided to make the move," said Risch, who owned Doodles for about eight years. "I got mixed emotions about this. … I'm hopeful."
So, now Bagel Express — which could be renamed — is open until 8 p.m. daily and has a more deli-like atmosphere that will feature baked goods, salads. Risch said he has an employee who is a culinary student and plans to showcase some specialties. In addition, there's new booth seating instead of tables. Not all the community favorites could be transferred, though. Instead of 32 flavors of Hershey's ice cream, there will be 16, and there will be no slushes, Risch said.
Replacing Doodles is a new consignment shop, Finders Keepers, that specializes in home decor that opened in mid November. (Look for a Hartland Patch profile on the new business in the coming days).
Lonny Morganroth, who owns Fountain Square, said Risch's new combined store has a better chance of thriving. Morganroth said Risch's work ethnic and commitment to the community with hosting events, such as fundraisers, and openness to community sponsorship should help him with the new venture, as well.
He said he hopes the community supports him more. Bagel Express is one of only to make its bagels fresh daily.
"The guy gets up at five o'clock in the morning or before and starts making fresh bagels for the community," Morganroth said. "He brings a unique flair to the community — french toast bagels, cinnamon sugar bagels. … People like him. There's nothing not to like."
Bagel Express' new hours are: 5:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Monday through Friday, 6 a.m. to 8 p.m. Saturday and 7:30 a.m. to 8 p.m. Sunday.