Clark’s Donuts has new partnership in Oil City

Kirstin Neidich, working in front of Buddy Flinchbaugh, places frosted and decorated sheet pans filled with doughnuts on cooling racks in the kitchen area of the new Clark’s Donuts production facility in February 2015. (File photo)

With the departure of the two Thorne’s Market locations last month, Clark’s has entered into a partnership with Karma Coffee Company on Seneca Street to provide its product to city residents on a daily basis.

As of Monday, a variety of donuts are now available seven days a week, and there are enough for patrons to purchase donuts by the dozen, similar to the business’ other locations.

Oil City serves as the birthplace of Clark’s Donuts as Warren residents Mr. and Mrs. Al Clark moved to Oil City and opened a shop there on Elm Street in May 1937.

Ten years later, the business had a new owner, Walter Lindquist.

Ownership changed again when Don and Louise Rodgers bought the shop in 1956. Among their employees was a young Don Neidich. The Rodgers family moved the bakery twice, in 1971 to the rear of the Drake Hotel and then across the river in 1976 to East First Street.

In 1981, when the Rodgerses were looking to retire, Don Neidich and his wife, Judy, bought the business.

Don Neidich died in August at the age of 76.

The operation was expanded to include a Cranberry location in 1993. First at the Cranberry Mall, then later at a building along Route 322, the Cranberry store was owned by the Neidichs’ son and daughter-in-law, Terry and Kelly Neidich.

The Oil City bakery, which produced all the company’s pastries, closed in 2002. After a three-month hiatus, the younger Neidich couple reopened the Cranberry location with more baking capacity.