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:
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