Gwendy's Goodies to partner with Ayden PD for event
A 'Coffee with a Cop' event also took place late last year in Ayden. Photo courtesy of Gwendy's Goodies / Instagram
AYDEN -- Gwendy’s Goodies, an Ayden institution for those with a sweet tooth, has been delighting customers over the last three years. With school starting back up, the local bakery is inviting kids to meet law enforcement personnel who protect them every day.
On Aug. 29, the Ayden Police Department, in cooperation with Gwendy’s Goodies and Simply Natural Creamery of Ormondsville, are hosting a back to school celebration. From 2-4 p.m., a child can come into Gwendy’s, get two free cookies and a milk, and meet local law enforcement.
Gwendolyn Yiznitsky, the owner of Gwendy’s Goodies, is passionate about her town and her baking. She got inspiration for her business after she sold over 200 pounds of cookies to help her daughter, Grace, attend a mission trip.
“For years, I have donated cookies to the school or to the football team,” Yiznitsky said. “People told me I needed to open up my own business. I was retiring from home schooling and looking for something to do."
Now, Gwendy’s Goodies is an Ayden hot spot, but not just for the sweets inside. Gwendy’s hosts many events throughout the year. Among them is a monthly “Coffee with a Cop” event, held the second Wednesday of every month from 7:30-8 a.m.
“I think it is important for parents and children to have a positive relationship with the police,” Yiznitsky said.”We all need to get more engaged within our community and it helps to make a strong and safer community. There are so many kids who may end up having a cop come into their lives for a variety of reasons. Hopefully, this can help them become less stressed when they meet them.”
With the success of the morning cup of Joe with a cop, Gwendy’s added cookies to the event.
“We did this once during the school year and it was a big success, Yiznitsky said. “Parents brought their kids down. Some of the kids played with the sirens in the cruiser. It was a lot of fun. It helped the kids in our community to see that cops can be friends and advocates with them.”
These fun, social interactions are nothing new to the Ayden Police Department. Recently, the APD hosted the National Night Out, complete with dunk tank. They also rode around with a Kona Sno-Cone truck, handing out free treats to kids to beat the late summer heat.
Cpl. Jenny Clark, the Community Policing Coordinator for the Ayden Police Department, agreed with Yiznitsky.
“Gwendy’s is in the middle of Ayden, so anyone can walk to it," she said. "They approached us before with the cookie idea and it was fantastic. Our officers had a great time with the kids.”
Clark added, “We like to meet people and speak with them in a casual, fun setting. It helps to get them more used to us, not just as officers, but as friends in a very unofficial setting. It helps the community feel safer and makes the kids more comfortable around us. They can see that we are more than just a uniform.”