Hot Krispy Kremes rev tastebuds and hopes
Publication: Chicago Sun-Times
Date: February 2, 2000
Author: JANET RAUSA
Edition: LATE SPORTS FINAL
Word Count: 660
Be still, my stomach. Krispy Kreme, the beloved Southern doughnut chain that debuted at 5640 S. Harlem last December
and recently announced its plans to go public, is opening two more stores in the Chicago area.
Managers say the second store will open Feb. 22 at 147th Street and Cicero in Midlothian. The third, at 45th Street and
Pulaski, will break ground in the spring.
Each will be 4,200 square feet of dough-kneading, glaze-dripping, sprinklecrazy bliss.
Ask my family and friends, and they'll describe my deep love for sweet treats.
Quick breads and cookies: Can't get enough. Fruit pies: Good and good for you. Layer cakes: The more layers, the
But the pillowy gems called Krispy Kremes? I have never tasted glazed doughnuts so incredibly, meltingly,
Some give credit to the yeast dough, made from a secret recipe developed in New Orleans by a man named Joe LeBeau.
Krispy Kreme founder Vernon Rudolph bought LeBeau's doughnut business and the recipe in 1933, transported it all to
Winston-Salem, N.C., and the rest is history.
Others argue it's in the glaze, which drapes itself more lightly than tulle over each perfect round, sweet enough to please but
never enough to offend.
Whatever it is, I say, "Keep it coming."
Which is my philosophy whenever I come across a box sporting that friendly logo in Christmas colors.
On a recent birthday, my fiance surprised me with a box of one dozen, wrapped in elegant tissue paper. I finished them in
four days, tops.
My current record is seven glazed_eaten in his car on the way back to Lake View from his parents' Southwest Side house.
He was driving, of course.
Then again, he always drives, because I don't own a car. And therein lies the problem.
Ever since Krispy Kremes arrived here, my access to them has been determined largely by my fiance's schedule and our
visits to my future in-laws, who live 3 1/2 miles from the Harlem store.
Don't get me wrong: I enjoy their company immensely. And my fiance's efforts always are touching and thoughtful.
Still, I long for the day when I can wake up, stretch my arms and saunter out the door of my Lake View apartment and
down the block to that magical neon-lit "Hot Doughnuts Now" sign.
I'm not asking for a silly new flavor like cookie dough filled with espresso icing. (Although the store does carry a feature
doughnut some months to showcase more exotic flavors, like January's chocolate cherry-filled.)
Nor do I demand modifications to its 16 current varieties, although I'm pleased that a new one, old-fashioned blueberry
glazed (a glazed cake doughnut with chunks of blueberries), will be introduced when the Midlothian store opens.
But must Krispy Kremes, which writer Roy Blount Jr. wrote "are to other doughnuts what angels are to people," remain
such a distant treasure?
I called Krispy Kreme, hopefully.
"Chicago is such a wonderful place for Krispy Kreme," said Tina Bryan, the company's marketing guru who gets to travel
and eat Krispy Kremes for a living.
Indeed it is. A downtown store would be brilliant, don't you think?
"We're looking for opportunities all over the Chicagoland area."
Excellent. How about a store around, say, Broadway and Addison?
"We're definitely optimistic about Krispy Kreme's future here."
So am I. Chicagoans would flock to stores in the city limits as steadily as the 270 dozen doughnuts that come off the
conveyor belt every hour on the hour.
"Take (Krispy Kreme) into Lincoln Park, and it would clean up," said Keith Lord, president of the retail brokerage firm
Lord Companies LLC.
Lord already has two perfect Krispy Kreme sites in mind: at Clark and Ohio streets in Tourist Central, and in the
Lincoln-Belmont-Ashland area, across from Whole Foods Market.
"We would love to have them there," he said. Ditto, Keith.
The invitation stands. But don't hold out much longer, Krispy Kreme. My blood sugar levels_and my fiance's
patience_hang in the balance.
Krispy Kreme opens in Midlothian_its second Chicago area store_Feb. 22, and plans a third store this spring. See also
Copyright 2000 Chicago Sun-Times, Inc.