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Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, 1200 Knox Abbott Drive: 22 Feb 2010 (open again)   14 comments

Posted at 12:56 am in restaurants

I've always thought there would be a great routine for a Southern comic like Jeff Foxworthy to do. It would go something like:

So you forgot your Anniversary, and you're in the doghouse with your wife. Well, fellas, your wife is always waiting for you to say those three little words -- those three little words that can make it all better, make her remember why she married you. So just put your arms around her, put your lips to her ear and say: "Hot Doughnuts Now?"

Ok, that probably explains both why I'm not a comedian and why I'm not married, but still Krispy Kreme is kind of woven into the fabric of the South, such that the brand's troubles of the last few years have had me worried that the over-expansion to new areas might bring on a collapse in the heartland.

That made me a bit nervous when I started seeing hits on the blog from people searching on various keyword combinations of "Krispy Kreme Columbia closing", but when I went over there last week, everything seemed fine. There were no signs up warning of anything, and late evening business was very brisk.

Then I saw the comment this morning from Kenneth that the Knox Abbott location was in fact closed, followed by a comment from Rebecca saying

I picked up a flier for Krispy Kreme in Cayce that said they were closing for remodeling on Feb. 22nd. When they reopen they will serve Kool Kreme which looks like soft serve ice cream from the logo. It also mentions a “mobile unit” that will sell doughnuts outside during the remodel.

I don't know why I didn't see any fliers last week, but when I drove over there today, I was quite reassured: There were actually plenty of guys working on the remodel. Often a"closed for remodeling" sign is just hopeful wish, but in this case it seems to be the real deal.

Of course, this location was remodeled fairly recently -- within the last ten years, I think, and it was not an improvement. The old setup had nice padded booths for seating, and I could sit by the east window with my doughnuts and coffee and watch the Jiffy Lube to see if they had pulled my car around yet. They yanked all those out and replaced them with a bunch of really uncomfortable and unsightly industrial tables and chairs.

I'm a bit worried about he Kool Kreme thing Rebecca mentions as well. That makes it sound like they are trying to emulate the Dunkin' Donuts / Baskin-Robbins co-location concept, which I think would be brand dilution and a big mistake. (Among other reasons, I'll bet they find they're not selling much ice-cream at 11pm and start closing early.)

(Hat tip to commenter Kenneth.)

UPDATE 9 April 2010 -- Well, there is obviously some more cosmetic work to be done to the exterior, but the store is open again, with a new doughnut assembly line and soft ice cream:

Written by ted on February 27th, 2010

14 Responses to 'Krispy Kreme Doughnuts, 1200 Knox Abbott Drive: 22 Feb 2010 (open again)'

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  1. From the web:

    Available in Very Vanilla and Deep Chocolate, Kool Kreme soft serve is offered in traditional cones, shakes and sundaes, all paired with a toppings bar. Specialties include the company’s signature doughnut sundaes, which come in chocolate cake, strawberry cake and Original Glazed. The Artic Avalanche combines Kool Kreme with a candy mix-in.

    Mike

    27 Feb 10 at 9:20 am

  2. KK should stick with the doughnuts only. It's gonna be a flop all the way around and more trouble than it's worth in such a teeny inside place. And besides.. they arent Baskin-Robins and cant compete with them. I say they should stick with what they do best and NOT get away from what made them famous to begin with.

    Del

    1 Mar 10 at 12:45 am

  3. Not to mention the location of this store. You want soft-serve ice cream and you're on 12th Street in Cayce. Are you going to think "Kirspy Kreme" or are you going to think "Zesto"?

    ted

    1 Mar 10 at 2:12 am

  4. I think you can stick an ice cream scoop in them, they are done. You would think they would stick to their core business after their rapid expansion resulted in a rapid contraction.

    ChiefDanGeorge

    1 Mar 10 at 5:55 am

  5. They need to go back to the KK glazed , with a thin layer of glaze and not the thick frosting of thye last 7 or 8 years. I agree, stick to the donuts!!! Zesto offers the best soft serve icecream and they gey customers in and out FAST.. Not so with the knox abbott drive KK location , when there is a line, you wait and wait..

    Libby Latham

    3 Mar 10 at 7:58 am

  6. They need to go back to the KK glazed , with a thin layer of glaze and not the thick frosting of thye last 7 or 8 years. I agree, stick to the donuts!!! Zesto offers the best soft serve icecream and they gey customers in and out FAST.. Not so with the knox abbott drive KK location , when there is a line, you wait and wait..

    Libby Latham

    3 Mar 10 at 7:58 am

  7. I have to admit the KK chillers were pretty tasy. I probably had more chillers there than I did d-nuts.

    jamie

    3 Mar 10 at 8:34 am

  8. I agree with the earlier posts. It seems like these decisions that "come down from corporate" defy common sense. The KK in Lexington features the Kool Kreme set-up. I've been going there weekly since they opened. It took a couple of months for them to get into shape but now they seem to have their act together now. The interior design seems modern with a dash retro. Nice for a photo but I dare say I wouldn't feel comfortable in there. There's no view. The location is below street level. I have no idea why they chose that site in Lexington. On the other hand, when I was a kid, I remember the KK on Taylor St. in Cola. being a tiny store. As I recall, it had a kind of funnel entrance. Once thru the front door there was probably 10 sq.ft. of space in front of the counter. I think it was all black & white tile up to the counter, interior & exterior to the sidewalk. This was the early 60s & Mom would reward my patience on her shopping trips, etc. with a box of doughnuts. She told me she used to work there after the war. So, there I would be. All alone with a dozen hot glazed doughnuts in the back seat of '56 Ford headed home. It was always my goal to eat all of them before we got home. Alas, the dreams of youth.

    John R

    3 Mar 10 at 10:08 am

  9. The new look is pretty horrid. It looks like a giant green and white singlewide from the 60s. Sticks out like a sore thumb.

    But, hey, as long as the doughnuts are HOT NOW, I'm down with it.

    jamie

    12 Apr 10 at 11:39 am

  10. Why hasn't anyone franchised a Krispy Kreme out in the Sandhills area? It would make a fortune. I would open one myself, but that would require money, something that I don't have much of.

    Cameron

    4 Jun 10 at 12:59 pm

  11. I don't understand the Krispy Kreme strategy in the Columbia area at all. Myrtle Beach has 3 "Hot Doughnuts Now" locations, all of which actually seem to have the sign on more often than the Cayce one. Augusta, which is a noticably smaller city than Columbia has 2 HDN stores.

    In Columbia, all we have is Cayce, which is way across the river. I would love to see something in Forest Acres or the Northeast!

    ted

    4 Jun 10 at 1:22 pm

  12. And Lexington....

    Mike

    4 Jun 10 at 9:51 pm

  13. Is that a HDN location? I thought they got their doughnuts from Cayce.

    ted

    5 Jun 10 at 2:48 am

  14. Oh--I though you were commenting on the lack of KK storefronts.

    Maybe we need a new motto for Columbia's lack of retail that Charleston and Greenville get:

    "Too little, too late".

    Mike

    5 Jun 10 at 4:29 am

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